Tuesday, November 30, 2010

on punctuation

I love words, how words are arranged and lay on the page for my tasting and frolic among them. I am reading "Rose" by Martin Cruz Smith, who is a wordsmith as good as Tolkein or Peter S Beagle, and that is going some. Those little marks between the words are fun too. Read "Eats, shoots and Leaves," or put another way, Eats shoots, and leaves."

Here's a fun little poem I stole from The Writer's Digest, and am sharing with you.

On Punctuation

by Elizabeth Austen

not for me the dogma of the period
preaching order and a sure conclusion
and no not for me the prissy
formality or tight-lipped fence
of the colon and as for the semi-
colon call it what it is
a period slumming
with the commas
a poser at the bar
feigning liberation with one hand
tightening the leash with the other
oh give me the headlong run-on
fragment dangling its feet
over the edge give me the sly
comma with its come-hither
wave teasing all the characters
on either side give me ellipses
not just a gang of periods
a trail of possibilities
or give me the sweet interrupting dash
the running leaping joining dash all the voices
gleeing out over one another
oh if I must
give me the YIPPEE
of the exclamation point
give me give me the curling
cupping curve mounting the period
with voluptuous uncertainty

"On Punctuation" by Elizabeth Austen, from The Girl Who Goes Alone. © Floating Bridge Press, 2010. Reprinted with permission.

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