Thursday, January 22, 2009

Friends, Grammar, and Waxing

This week's Spin Cycle challenge was to rhyme. As an English teacher, I jumped up to do a little happy dance all around the bedroom when I read that, but then my husband started throwing dollar bills at me so I stopped.

I had a hard time deciding exactly which poetry to put in here: something I loved? something I wrote? recent? old? ack! But what made up my fantastical mind was a friend from 8th grade finding me - I'm definitely posting about the past and waxing nostalgic.

My favorite poet is Robert Frost - his imagery casts a spell and I hear his New England accent
tell these stories in that lulling nasal canter.

This one makes me feel at home, now - stopping to wonder and think, and to know that the road before me is long but full of moments of splendor and grace.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

When I was in college, I struggled with grammar. Struggle might be an understatement, since I believed in my heart, to my very core, that every rule and law was a gauntlet whacking me in the face, mocking me to go ahead and break me - you won't. So I wrote poetry to release some of my tensions:

Ode to a Grammatical Urn

With a shape so supple
flowing like a stream
filled with the ashes
of my self esteem.

With hands of great talent
Strunk & White have created
this wondrous vessel
which holds me cremated.

Like the Phoenix from the ashes
their teaching rejuvenates my parts
showing me the path
to grammatical smarts.

Still here? Want another?

Cry grammar, grammar!
Will correctness prevail?
Or are we doomed
to flounder and flail?

Cry grammar, grammar!
Wash us clean
of dangling participles
which I ain't never seen!

Cry grammar, grammar!
Colloquialisms run amok
improper conjunctions and tense
cry what the ... (well, maybe not).
Allusion is to illusion
as allude is to elude
so easily switched
in all the confusion.

Cry grammar, grammar!
My spontaneity, so breezy and light,
can be confused with genius.
I do it all the time - you might!

Ok, I'm sure publishers will be rushing to email me with job offers, begging me for more!


Could you tell that while I was taking Grammar I was also talking Classics of the Greek and Roman Empire?

But my favorite is one that I wrote with my older daughters, when they were little, with refrigerator magnets:

I laugh wonderfully loud

I dance when I sing

I dream while I play outside

I fly instead of fall.

Now, back to my day job!


Keely said...

Aw! I think my fave is the last one, too :)

Sprite's Keeper said...

Rikki, you are a professional. You HAVE to be! I love that Frost poem, but I love yours so much more! Perfect timing, execution, rhyme, reason, LOVE IT!!!!
You're linked!

Shangrila said...

Grammar bites, but your poetry rocks! The rhythms and word combinations are amazing! The poem that you wrote with your kids on the fridge is lovely, as well!

Rikki said...

Hey, thanks! You guys are fabulous for making me feel talented!

Katie said...

Those are awesome! I haven't the first clue about grammar, but you rock.