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I was thinking about a poem I wrote in high school and figured I would post it here for all to read. It was published in the National Anthology of High School Poems which was presented to then First Lady Hilary Clinton. There were over 100,000 poems entered but only 2000 published. Over 20,000 high schools sent poems in for consideration.

The story behind the poem... My English teacher had a two score method on any paper we turned in for an assignment. One grade was for content and the other was for grammar. We had an assignment regarding the story "Beowulf & Grendel." Throughout my entire paper, I misspelled Grendel as Grendle and had a few other spelling issues to boot. This was back in the days where (if I did type instead handwrite) I used a word processor that had limited capabilities. So, I received an A+ for my content but got a 70 (C-) for my grammar on that paper.

Fast forward one week to our next assignment. We were studying different poems types and one type was a "complaint poem." Our assignment was to write a complaint poem and we could pick any topic to complain about. So I picked spelling and this poem was born. I received a 100/100 (A+) for both grades on this poem and got a remark along the lines of "Excellent comeback ;-)" from my teacher.

A Bad Speller's Compliant (Or Is That Complaint?)
By kaylashay; Circa 1998

It seems no matter how hard I try,
When it comes to spelling -- I have no clue;
At times I am so confused I start to cry,
Because I can't tell "two" from "too" from "to!"

Words like "there" and "their" I sometimes get,
But when you toss in a "they're" to the list,
I stand up and throw a noisy fit --
One might want to avoid my swinging fist!

Spelling words that have "i-e" are a pain,
Since you have to remember what comes after "c",
Then there are words such as "plane" and "plain"
That make me wish I had someplace better to be.

While in science, I always know the cause,
But would you state the "effect" of "affect" for that?
With "right" and "write" I make many flaws,
So I think I will stick with "cat", or is that "kat"?

On any person who can spell just fine,
I wish to place a "spell" on their mind,
So when they try to write a story line,
They will misspell words of each and every kind!


( 18 Campfires — Leave a Comment )
Apr. 24th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
That's very clever. ^_^ I approve!
Apr. 25th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-)
Apr. 24th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, in Grade 9 I wrote this paper and through out the entire paper I had spelt a name incorrectly. However, I spelt it the same way every single time. My teacher commented he would have taken more marks off, but I had him doubting the spelling by the end, I had been so consistent. (In my high school days it was hand or typewriter.)

Love the poem.
Apr. 25th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
I was very consistent in my misspelling of Grendel as Grendle. However, in my teacher's view, I had the book right in front of me while I was writing the paper so there was no excuse... ::sigh::

We had a word processor around the time I was in 10th or 11th grade. It had a monitor and allowed you pre-type what you wanted and save it to a floppy disc. But the "printing" part of it was built into the keyboard and could be used as a typewriter or for the word processor. And it printed like a typewriter. So the 10 page research paper I did my senior year and needed 2 copies of took longer to print than it did to type.
Apr. 24th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! *grin*
Apr. 25th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-)
Apr. 24th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
That's hilarious! I'm a bad speller in multiple languages. *g* On the other hand, as an educator, I know that computer spell-checkers aren't the solution (you would not believe how many essays I've read about 'the pheasants' revolt'...) *ggg*
Apr. 25th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
I thought it was funny that when I started learning German in college I could spell much better in that language than in English. English has too many little loops hole for my tastes.

And I always type words that don't get caught by the spell/grammar checker. They need a feature that checks for "is this word appropriate with the words around it".
Apr. 25th, 2009 11:03 am (UTC)
The funny thing is, I read this before- someone on my flist found it and posted it, saying that they really liked it- it is an awesome poem!
Apr. 25th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)

I would really like to know it was just to see the post. And it makes me wonder how they found it. I think I might have posted online somewhere once before, but I can't remember for sure. And I think I found the website for the place that published the book it was in. I had the option all the years ago to get the book, but my family couldn't afford it at the time.
Apr. 25th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
I'm not 100% percent sure, but yeah, I think so. I don't remember exactly who it was, but I'll look around and see if I can find the post for you ^^;
Apr. 25th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Haha, I found what I was talking about. My memory got a little mixed up, but. Yeah.

Lookie! *facepalms*
Apr. 25th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)

Every time I listen to that one I think of my poem actually!

Apr. 25th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
And now I remember where I posted it before!!

Apr. 25th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
*snickers* And I remembered reading it, only it wasn't in the post itself but in the comments. Lalala.
Apr. 25th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
You get an A+ for the memory test today though.... You found that.

Apr. 25th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
I just got lucky that it really was donutsweeper who made the post that prompted you commenting and not someone else. I honestly wasn't sure anymore.
Apr. 25th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
I gotta say, as a not-native speaker I can totally agree with this poem. Especially the "effect" and "affect". I really simply don't know the difference and I always use the one with the "e" in hope that if it's wrong my beta will sort it out. So, thank you. It makes me feel so much better that native speakers have the same problems I have.
( 18 Campfires — Leave a Comment )

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