My Pencil - A Grammar & Punctuation Refresher

My Pencil - A Grammar & Punctuation Refresher


My Pencil

My pencil has its own mind,

a determined one at that.

It takes me on adventures

and runs whilst I am sat.


In my head, I plan a story,

my very own invention.

Pencil thinks of something else,

tales flow without intention.


I conjure up descriptions,

similes, thoughts, emotions.

Pencil goes much deeper,

unveiling long lost notions.


Dancing across my notepad,

creativity must grow.

Eraser is for later,

grammar interrupts flow.


I wrote this poem a few years ago, to excuse my lack of grammatical skills, somewhat.  At school, spelling was a strength but knowing where to place a comma wasn’t always easy.  To me, creativity comes first (otherwise, I lose my ideas) but, in the end, grammar and punctuation are important, too.  Without these, the meaning, or nuances behind our imaginative pieces, could be misunderstood or misinterpreted by the reader.  Even the simplest phrase can have a different meaning, as highlighted in this humorous post I found via social media recently:

I’m giving up drinking until Christmas.

Sorry, wrong punctuation.

I’m giving up.  Drinking until Christmas.

As a refresher, and to bring more clarity to my writing, I’ve recently taken myself back to basics and thought I’d share my notes to help those of you who, like me, can let their pencil run away with them, without thought for literary rules.

I’d also recommend you look up a wonderful poem by the American poet, Steve Kowit, Poem 106: The Grammar Lesson and/or Michael Rosen’s humorous Grammar Lesson.


Grammar Glossary

Active/Passive Voice:

  • Active – when the subject is at the start of a sentence e.g. The group          welcomed new members. 
  • Passive – when the subject is played down or omitte...

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Janette Ostle
Feb 6 2021

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