1. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is Grammer Essential?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Torana, Apr 15, 2007.

    Is Grammar Essential?

    I know most people use grammar in their poetry, I know I do.
    But their is alot of contraversy over whether poetry needs grammar or not. Some poetry I have read has no grammar what so ever and reads just fine but then when grammar is added, it reads completely different.
    I mean why do we use grammar?
    What is it's purpose?
    Is it neccessary in all poems, or is poetry fine without any grammar at all?

    What is your opinion on grammar in poetry?

    ~Torana
     
  2. Isis
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    Isis Senior Member

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    Poetry needs grammar because poetry uses language. It's impossible for a poem to not have any grammar at all - to just be letters or words that aren't even phrases or fragments. formal grammar is another story...

    I think it's very useful. It isn't always necessary, but formal grammar and especially punctuation is always helpful. Some poems benefit from no punctuation and having a free-flowing, stream-of-conciousness style, but most of the time punctuation [even a little bit] is good for directing the flow, creating a mood and sound. And it can be useful for condensation - why put a bunch of "ands" when you can just have commas as the pause between important words?

    If your punctuation preference works in that poem, than there's not much sense in arguing that one way or the other is always better...the only thing that gets on the collective nerves [at least, I think] are those who think that since it's poetry and it's supposed to be from the heart, that's an excuse to not know how to punctuate, an excuse to not spell out words, or an excuse to not know an infinitive from an elbow.
     
  3. Sayso
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    Sayso Contributing Member

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    Great input guys - thanks.

    I know I'm not very good when it comes to grammar but I do like to see it included. Saying that though, when I read poetry I find I naturally put the breaks in when they're not included.

    I don't know if there is a definite answer to this one. I'd be interested to know what everyone else thinks.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's kind of a nonseniscal question, for how can you write anything without 'grammar'???... have to agree with what isis had to say about it...

    btw, along with grammar, spelling is just as important... ;-)
     
  5. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thankyou kindly for poitning out the spelling error I had made maia, it is appreciated.

    As for grammar, yes I personally think that it is appropriate in poetry, as in all forms of writing really.
    I feel that it helps with the flow of the writing honestly and aslo the presentation.

    I do however know of poets who don't use any grammer within their poetry and it does read just fine without it. Although I tend to do the same thing as Sayso when it comes to poetry that has no grammar in it though.

    ~Torana
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    torana... you still seem to be confusing 'grammar' with 'good grammar'... nothing can be written in words that does NOT have 'grammar'...

    here's what grammar is:

    what you seem to be referring to is proper use of english grammar, not use of the grammar itself, which is simply using words in whatever way the writer chooses... and yes, some don't use good grammar and that is not generally excusable, merely because it's a poem...

    however, if it's done for effect and works, then it's ok to bend or break the rules now and again...
     
  7. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with the above in so much that any clause (be it grammatical of course) is going to contain grammar - and a further breakdown of that would show that individual words themselves contain grammar - inflections / derivatives and they themselves phonological constructions.

    The question though I belive is a punctuation issue rather than a grammar issue - as a poem will ususally be grammatical due to the basic premise of cooperation - if a poet / author wants his work read - they'll ensure it is readable / grammatical.

    As for punctuation is is absolutely not necessary but in order to construct good punctuationless poetry I strongly believe one should understand first its use and second its absence.
     
  8. IW-Cavalier
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    IW-Cavalier Member

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    The thing is, these idiots think they're James Joyce or something. The ones who put up the argument that grammar "isn't important" only use that as a cover for the fact that they are incapable of using their own language properly. I'm so sick of reading poems that don't even make sense, commenting on it and getting pissed at by some self-righteous ass saying that it's "creative" or "original" and all that bull.

    While I agree with your diferentiation between grammar and GOOD grammar, the latter still doesn't even use improper grammar to a positive effect. I've yet to read a piece that doesn't use proper grammar that isn't difficult to read, in such a way that it takes away from the overall quality of the work. I mean people make mistakes but some are just lazy or really don't know it. If you don't know how to use proper grammar, LEARN IT! ASK FOR HELP AND ACCEPT IT!!

    *This isn't directed at anyone in this thread. ^^; I get tired of getting ripped on for COMMENTING on a writer's use or lack thereof, grammar.

    So in short, we've all shortened sentences by leaving out an 'of' or 'and' or any other word you chose, but having improper grammar as a trend, as far as I've seen, serves no purpose to improving the quality of a poem.
     

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