Tuesday, 9 November 2010

the naming of parts

In the churchyard, after the service,
the sunlight slides across the sides of gravestones,
illuminating the carvings.

On the way home,
I think of the word 'to'
and I ask MrM what part of speech it is
and he tells me it is a preposition
or a grammatical particle.

MrM studied Classics
so the parts of speech
and the rules for their correct use
are embedded in his brain.

I remember that when I started writing
it delighted me to begin sentences
with conjunctions and break those rules.
It made my writing very jagged and abrupt
but each word was carefully chosen
and the style was deliberate.

I write differently now
because my objective is to capture
the sound of a voice:
my daughter, my son,
my mother, my father,
my husband, my friends
my own.

It is a frustrating hobby,
like trying to catch cobwebs.

But when you get it right
the sound is there forever.


  1. Beautifully said. Mrs M

  2. I love the way you write and the way you see.

  3. And yet
    I always hear
    your voice

  4. You get it right Alice. Having never heard any of your favorite voices, I would know them, should I be so lucky.

  5. Your voice is quiet and clear......... well, to me it is..... and your photos today are a delight!

  6. si monumentum quaeris, circumspice

    as someone said a long time ago

  7. I love your voice.

    And your voices.

  8. You always manage to capture those voices so perfectly. K x

  9. I didn't think of your writing as voices; more like drops of cool clear water, spare but sparkling. I would love to have your skill.

    If MrM ever wants to experience true shock and horror (liberating to some like me though it is) get him to read up on Plain English.... And you can start sentences with 'and' or 'but' all you like! But maybe you know that already.....

  10. Once again, Alice, you shame me with your mindfulness.

  11. I am reading a book about improving one's writing style. All I needed to do was read this blog.

    And your photos are stunning. I like to begin sentences with conjunctions too.

  12. You are an excellent cobweb catcher.

  13. Delightful and profound as usual.

  14. are you sure you're not from a different and much more perfect planet?

    I too have studied classics and LOVE grammar... I can assure you that my Italian grammar is quite outstanding... however I apologise for the English one.

  15. I'm gorging on all these recent posts, as I always gorge on your words- but also the flapjacks, the linocuts that remind me of the cover of Skippy Dies, and oh the vital life of your office!

  16. Something brings me here ..if not every day..every post. Today I can't decide if it is your words or your pictures. Both are sublime.


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