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From The Writers Almanac for Monday, August 3, 2009, a poem by Ronald Wallace.
The Student Theme
The adjectives all ganged up on the nouns,/ insistent, loud, demanding, inexact,/ their Latinate constructions flashing. The pronouns/ lost their referents. They were dangling, lacked/ the stamina to follow the prepositions’ lead/ in, on, into, to, toward, for, or from./ They were beset by passive voices and dead/ metaphors, conjunctions shouting But! or And!
The active verbs were all routinely modified/ by adverbs, that endlessly and colorlessly ran/ into trouble with the participles sitting/ on the margins knitting their brows like gerunds/ (dangling was their problem, too). The author/ was nowhere to be seen; was off somewhere.
The poem is from Ronald Wallace’s collection “The Uses of Adversity,” University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998. Buy it from Amazon.com — http://tinyurl.com/koozwn
source: email newsletter from The Writers Almanac by Garrison Keillor. Visit http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/ Sign up for the newsletter!
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