Learning The English Language


In my daily persuit of new information about the English language, I bumped into a blog post authored by my blogging buddy, Abe Lincoln, that captured my attention.  Abe found a cute poem described as Poetry 180:  a poem a day for American high schools in the Library of Congress written by Steve Kowit.

If you are a newbie to English, I’m absolutely sure you will find this poem appealing.  For me, it made my day.  Here we go.

The Grammar Lesson by Steve Kowit

A noun’s a thing. A verb’s the thing it does.
An adjective is what describes the noun.
In “The can of beets is filled with purple fuzz.”

of and with are prepositions. The’s
an article, a can’s a noun,
a noun’s a thing. A verb’s the thing it does.

A can can roll—or not. What isn’t was
or might be, might meaning not yet known.
“Our can of beets is filled with purple fuzz”

is present tense. While words like our and us
are pronouns—i.e. it is moldy, they are icky brown.
A noun’s a thing; a verb’s the thing it does.

Is is a helping verb. It helps because
filled isn’t a full verb. Can’s what our owns
in “Our can of beets is filled with purple fuzz.”

See? There’s almost nothing to it. Just
memorize these rules…or write them down!
A noun’s a thing, a verb’s the thing it does.
The can of beets is filled with purple fuzz.

Credit:  from In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop, 1995, Tilbury House, Publishers, Gardiner, Maine

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