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Valentine’s Poetry – For the Love of Punctuation

I'll admit it: I love proper grammar. I absolutely adore accurate wording and proper punctuation placement. There's no better way to express these emotions than in poetry, especially on Valentine's Day.

I am not a poet. 

Fortunately, others are. These items were the winners from Grammar Girl's National Punctuation Day contest and were kind enough to allow us to reprint them for your reading pleasure.

I'll admit it: I love proper grammar. I absolutely adore accurate wording and proper punctuation placement. There's no better way to express these emotions than in poetry, especially on Valentine's Day.

I am not a poet. 

Fortunately, others are. These items were the winners from Grammar Girl's National Punctuation Day contest and were kind enough to allow us to reprint them for your reading pleasure.

The Exclamation Point!

The exclamation point is greatly overused!
One could even say it is frequently abused!
In advertising copy, it repeatedly resounds!
And in breathless prose, it literally abounds!
The poorer the writer, the more frequently the case!
The exclamation point, they readily embrace!
To give a little emphasis! To make a little point!
This punctuation mark they will appoint!
But, to make emphasis perfectly clear,
Good writers generally appear
to make little use of exclamations
and other such typographic affectations.

— Ed Truitt
Ed Truitt is a science writer at the Weizmann Institute of Science

Ode to the Comma

The female body part of punctuation, 
So tiny, yet able to arouse such aggravation.
The comma slips in under the quotation,
Tells you when to pause for reflection,
Then plunge ahead to the period's conclusion.
Neglect it at your peril: accusations, 
law suits, wars. Nations
fall. Pretend it doesn't exist at all? Risk condemnation.
Treat it right for absolution.
That's right, put it there: Yes, oh, yes . . . satisfaction.

— Stacey Harwood 
Stacey Harwood is a policy analyst with the New York State Department of Public Service. She is a freelance writer and managing editor of The Best American Poetry blog

An Ode To The Semicolon

The simple thoughts of children need only simple punctuation.
A sentence with one verb, one noun, for every situation.
"I want a cookie." "She hit me!" "When are we going to eat?"
These subject/object pairings up express these thoughts complete.

As we mature our thoughts do too, become harder to express.
Complexity increases, stacked more and more, not less.
"Optic blasts are awesome, but adamantium claws are better."
"Should I call up Mary Lou, or send an e.mail letter?"

Related concepts bloom within, so quickly they do roll on,
To show they're separate (but connected), apply the semicolon. 
The sentences could stand apart, but linking them together
Allows the thought to seamlessly express itself much better.

"We danced all night; it was divine." describes one case in point.
The first and second halves of which each other do anoint.
"We danced all night. It was divine." How choppy and how stilted!
Without the semicolon how the narrative gets wilted!

Conditional or adverse, it supports concept relations,
O semicolon praise we all, the best of all notations!

— Tony Noland 

Tony Noland is an author and blogger living near Philadelphia, PA. He
writes literary fiction and flash fiction, with forays into science
fiction, horror and fantasy. He has also been known to write the
occasional poem.
You can also find this poem on his blog.

The appearance of these poems does not indicate that the authors endorse Textbroker.


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