Posts Tagged ‘adverbs’

I have found something that may improve my writing (I hope).

February 23, 2010

I have found a great book that may improve my writing. Style by Joseph Williams, published by Scott, Foresman and Company ISBN 0-673-38186-2, gives ten lessons in ‘clarity and grace’. I am not sure about the grace bit, but he certainly helps to clarify. I have not finished reading the book, but I have already come across some brilliant ideas.

New to me is the notion of placing an important idea at the END of a sentence. While he agrees that you try to put the central idea at the beginning of the sentence/paragraph I never thought of leading up to a main idea and placing it at the end.

I always have a problem with too many adverbs and he shows how to avoid these. In the chapter on cohesion he provides lists of joining words that I can use when teaching. He provides exercises for you to try and answers to some of them in the back. I really need answers to any exercises I do, so I skipped those that had no answers.

 I have decided to buy a copy for myself for I think it will be very useful if I teach advanced English as a  Foreign Language in summer as planned.  

And no, nobody is paying me to say these things!


Poetry Day October 2009

October 11, 2009

Poetry Day Oct 2009

What a wonderful idea! I doubt if I would have approached the subject of poetry had it not been for Poetry Day and an event advertised at the Babylon Gallery in Ely. I was having lunch in Ely with a friend so I arrived a little late but what a fruitful afternoon it was! I had several poets on hand helping me try to improve my attempts at poetry. They encouraged me to write anything at first – leaving a line between each of my efforts and then revising. It is the revising where it gets difficult. What makes a good poem? It seems one must avoid common phrases, adjectives and adverbs. The words, I believe, need to evoke a feeling and or an image in the reader. This image/feeling need not necessarily be the same as those expressed.  Each word has to be exactly the ‘right one’.

I am still working on the poem but here is a first attempt:

Screeching voice

Pierces oneness with Debussy

Wrinkled piano keys shake.

My fingers in black thirds, soothe.

My soul wretches: over-cooked cabbage

Fuses with rippling chords.

Putrid, slippery floors drown

In my moonlit dream.

 It is supposed to reflect my feelings as I played Debussy’s  Clalre de Lune on an old piano when I was at boarding school.  

One of the poets at the Poet’s Day event at the Babylon Gallery was John Lyons who has a book launch on 15th October 2009 at 7 p.m. in Ely library which you may wish to attend.  His book is called No apples in Eden and is about Caribbean life.