The discussions of the necessity for punctuation and grammar rules are well-known. There is hardly a poet who has never disputed on this subject. Some poets adhere to all rules strictly while creating their poems. Others break all available punctuation and grammar rules and come up with their own interpretations. You can come across a variety of works that either have or lack the required rules. So, let’s learn the answer to the question “Is grammar important in poetry?”.
The absence of certain grammar rules may make the readers confused. The formatting is especially crucial in the case of sonnet or haiku. Those poets who are eager to violate all existing rules should know them well to understand how they work. Otherwise, your creative approach will not have good consequences for understanding the poem. In simple words, you need to do everything with taste; that is impossible without knowing grammar.
Title and Poetic Grammar
There is nothing extraordinary about the title in poetic grammar. Here ordinary English language rules work. If you want to cite somebody’s work, you just need to use the quotation marks to specify the title: “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare. Also, you need to follow other rules like the absence of comas at the title end.
The capitalization is done the same as in other types of writing. The first word in each line must begin with a capital letter. Mind that you shouldn’t capitalize prepositions, conjunctions, and articles if they are not the first or the last word. However, there is one exception – you should capitalize the prepositions which are longer than five letters.
10 Typical Mistake in Poetic Grammar
There are some mistakes which most of us make. Of course, nobody is perfect, so it’s okay to learn and improve your own skills. Knowing the common mistakes in poetic grammar will prevent you from making them in the future. Mind that grammar in poems is as important as in any other form of writing. So let’s look at them, and learn how you should write and how you shouldn’t write.
Commas in Poems
People often make mistakes exactly when they cite the works of other poets. That’s why you need to be very careful and preserve the original style, as not all authors follow the rules. For example, Edward Cummings doesn’t use capital letters in his works consciously. Mind original text when you are citing, and also do not forget commas in dates.
If you want to begin the sentence with an introductory word, you need to put a comma. Let’s see:
Correct: Before she opened her window, she started to cough.
Incorrect: Before she opened her window she started to cough.
It is a common mistake even for English-speaking students. Discover it and try to avoid it always:
Correct: Ann has been reading for three hours.
Incorrect: Ann have been reading for three hours.
It’s and Its
People do not use “Its” and “It’s” correctly today more often than ever. It happens because of using social media and the desire to simplify the language. As a result of online communication, the comma is not always where it must be. Mind that we use “Its” when we want to mention belonging, and “It’s” – when you want to say “It has” or “it is.”
Correct: It’s been five months since she saw him.
Incorrect: Its been five months since she saw him.
It happens that we use words that seem to be right and sound correctly, but in fact, they are not. You should be aware of tricky words and always check their meaning in a dictionary before using them.
For instance: night/knight, buy/bye, sea/see, son/sun, ect.
Punctuation in Compound Sentences
When you work with compound sentences, grammar rules are necessary to follow. It is not the best place to come up with some creativity. Put commas between different parts, and the readers will not feel confused. Let’s see in practice:
Correct: The students were inspired, and they enjoyed life, and they wanted to see the world.
Incorrect: The students were inspired and they enjoyed life and they wanted to see the world.
Too Many Commas
Some people put too many commas, which is also a big mistake. You should be careful when putting commas. Otherwise, you will deal with poetic grammar mistakes. Let’s see:
Correct: I went to music school because I wanted to learn to play the guitar.
Incorrect: I went to music school, because I wanted to learn to play the guitar.
There, They’re, Their
This is also a result of digital language simplification. People try to write and send the message quicker, so they start to mix these words. Please, mind that:
There – stands for a place, location
They’re – means “They are”
Their – stands for belonging
Make sure that you do not mix these words in your own poems. Consider the following examples that will help you memorize the rule better:
Correct: They are very intelligent and interesting people.
Incorrect: There very intelligent and interesting people.
Some people often forget spacing, which is one of the most important rules. You need to leave space between periods, words, and commas.
Correct: What is this life, if full of care…
Incorrect: What is this life,if full of care…
I and Me
This rule can be tricky. Most people do not understand whether they need to use I or Me while writing a poem. Let’s see:
Correct: When you finish the paper, please give it to Tom and me.
Incorrect: When you finish the paper, please give it to Tom and I.
Why is Punctuation Used in Poems?
In general, we use punctuation to demonstrate pauses in poems. There are six forms of punctuation: dash, period, question mark, semicolon, exclamation point. Each of them is used for showing different pauses. For example, we put a comma for the smallest stop, while a period is used for the largest one. While you are reading aloud, you use a full period to stop and breathe out. If you want to know what are the 3 types of poetry and whether all these forms of punctuation are used in them, then the answer is yes. All six punctuation forms are used in narrative, lyric, and dramatic poetry. This is a great way to add some creativity to your works and help readers understand your way of thinking correctly without any confusion.
All poets need to know the rules of punctuation in poems as this will help both improve readability and express their own thoughts and ideas. Poetic grammar may also contribute to your presentation as an author. You should remember that any punctuation or grammar mistakes will spoil your poem and make included metaphors not understandable for readers. That’s why you need to mind all rules and mistakes to present top-quality poems and grab the readers’ attention.