Yesterday’s game was such a mad success with online poet-gamers and poet-grammar lovers (in both cases, their numbers are legion) that I thought I’d follow up with a contemporary poet, the wildly creative Dean Young.
The first version of his poem below, “Hammer,” features highlighted adjectives. Some of them are his adjectives and belong. Some of them I have added, to see if you can pick them out as superfluous for all the reasons adjectives can BE superfluous (and I love describing adjectives as being unnecessary by using adjectives–first “superfluous” and now “unnecessary.”
In any event, Young’s actual poem is a scroll-down below, so no cheating. Just pencil down the bad boys (my imposters) and tally up your score.
by Dean Young
That’s right. I added but one adjective to the original: the word “reedy” before “wrist” in the line “It wasn’t my future that was about to break its wrist.”
How’d you do? Better than yesterday? Remember, a good poet leaves necessary adjectives — ones that carry their weight — and, during revision, weeds out the reedy ones, such as all those blue skies and puffy clouds and green grasses. This is where I say, “Class dismissed!” Oh, and have a day! (Let’s assume the “good,” shall we?)
2 thoughts on “Damned* Adjectives II: The Sequel”
Love that poem, love the hammer. Love “quizzes pecked by red ink.” Brings me right back to teaching days.
Last quiz, I promise!