English Languish

for June Casagrande

My Dad was one of those you cite
Correcting syntax as of right
A 'great big meany' to the core
He put construction to the fore
The spirit of the piece was lost
And in the basket ended tossed
The budding author withered then
And never showed him work again
My heart was shattered by the flaws
A split infinitive could cause
A misplaced preposition, too,
Could wreck a scene of derring-do
I quaked at the subjunctive mood
And clauses giving too much food
For thought midst plots that wouldn't hatch
And parts of speech that did not match

The hanging phrase is widely banned
And sentences that start with And
And sentences that start with But
Will cause an academic Tut!
The strict corrections they propose
Have blighted my immortal prose
O woe is me! I am undone!
There is no licence to have fun!

The muse is gone, I wonder why
My verse can't fit the needle's eye?
And art is left to hang its lyre
On weeping willows and expire
But now I think I've said enough
And must not brook this kind of stuff
My future work they'll not be faulting
I think the pedants are revolting!

from The Twain, Poems of Earth and Ether 

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