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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Art of Pausing

According to the Elements of English Grammar,
(designed particularly for the use of
Ladies Boarding Schools in 1776)

the infinite variety of connection

is to be distinguished
by this small number of stops.

Woman, without her man, is nothing,

The comma like a dip in the ground,
A curve of the spine.

Allardyce said:
There is no rule to distinguish compound words
That take a hyphen from those that do not.

coal-pit; printing press;
Sea water,


The graduating class of 1942-46,
four years of lost lives in the little line.

Woman. Without her, man is nothing.

When Hughes edited Plath,
he changed several commas to periods,
as if finalizing her death
in the round stop of a capped well.

These days, most of what we say to one another
ends in an ellipses
Three yellow headlights blinking



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