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In Love, His Grammar Grew
Transcript of In Love, His Grammar Grew
poem by Stephen Dunn
In Love, His Grammar Grew
, the other
was a doubter who loved the wind
and the mind that cleans up after it."
"In love, his grammar grew
rich with intensifiers, and adverbs fell
madly from the sky like pheasants
for the peasantry, and he, as sated
as they were, lolled under shade trees
until roused by moonlight
and the beautiful fraternal twins
. Oh that was when"
. Oh that was when
he knew he couldn't resist
a conjunction of any kind."
he wanted to break all the rules,
light a candle behind a sentence
named Sheila, always running on
and wishing to be stopped
by the hard button of a period."
"Sometimes, in desperation, he'd look
toward a mannequin or a window dresser
with a penchant for parsing."
"But mostly he wanted you, Sheila,
and the adjectives that could precede
and change you:
queen of all that is and might be
presentation by Nisha Patel, Yimeng Zhao, and Tori Phelps
VOICE - lyrical tone
IMAGERY - adverbs in free fall = "pheasants," "shade trees" in "moonlight," "beautiful fraternal twins"
FIGURES OF SPEECH- writing and grammar = love
SAYING AND SUGGESTING - "sated," "lolled," moon symbol
WORDS - "madly" is an adverb
RHYTHM - scan, incomplete foot
SOUND - alliteration with euphony and cacophony "grammar grew," assonance "i," consonance "t"
WORDS - conjunctions
SOUND- consonance "n" and euphony due to nasal "n" sound
FIGURES OF SPEECH - personification of words "and" and "but"
RHYTHM - end stops and run ons
SOUND - sharp double "c" in "accumulate" to stress "and" and consonance "d" to stress "but"
SAYING AND SUGGESTING - "mannequin" symbol, "window dresser," "penchant," "parsing"
IMAGERY - concrete "mannequin" and "window dresser"
WORDS - begins with conjunction, lots of commas
SAYING AND SUGGESTING - "bluesy," "fly-by-night," hope of "might be"
RHYTHM - loaded with end stops
SOUND - euphony
VOICE - irony; adjectives are not changing her
IMAGERY - lighting a candle, running
FIGURES of SPEECH- Sheila = run on sentence on which speaker accumulates expectations of love
SAYING AND SUGGESTING - "Sheila"
WORDS: period juxtaposition
WORDS - abstract words become concrete
RHYTHM - cadence flows with musical qualities
VOICE - slight desperation
irony: running behind her and preceding her
IMAGERY - grammar imagery; words, punctuation
SOUND - no fixed rhyme scheme
double letter words: "grammar," "fell," "lolled," "trees," "moonlight," "accumulate," "all," "running," "stopped," "button," "mannequin," "dresser," "queen," and "all"
OPEN FORM - free verse, no set rhyme scheme or meter, uniform structure with the stanzas, "for love" connects the stanzas like a conjunction
SUBJECT - Love: speaker expresses his feelings for a girl named Sheila
PARAPHRASE - In the first stanza, the speaker describes his love by relating it metaphorically to his writing-as his writing grows more descriptive (due to the addition of adverbs, intensifiers, conjunctions, etc.,), it reflects his endless love like an eternal run-on sentence. In the second stanza, he mentions Sheila for the first time, further commenting on his love for her through the metaphor.
SPEAKER - unnamed narrator who uses universal "he" while also referring to himself
THEME - Love distracts from reality; "break all the rules,"
"for love," "mannequin," "window dresser"