Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Prophesying of a Capital Letter

Poem of the Day:
Abraham Lincoln's "Abraham Lincoln"

Lincoln was not short, but his poems were:

Abraham Lincoln
his hand and pen
he will be good but
god knows When

This poem is simple and straight, perhaps what all presidents should be. While Lincoln avoids overstatement and the flowery form of metaphor, he utilizes capitalization; what stands tall stands tall for a reason.

"When" is capitalized without regard to the rules of English grammar, but by doing so Lincoln is suggesting a beginning. It is not literally the beginning of a sentence, as most capital letters suggest, but the beginning of a leader. Lincoln ends his poem not because he has nothing more to say but for precisely the opposite reason: he is unfinished. His story is to be continued, of this he is confident. He has only to finish the sentence he began when he capitalized "When."

This summer I have worked harder than the season normally suggests one should. I work 20 hours a week, intern 6 hours a week, and spend about 15 hours a week writing and interviewing for my internship. I have always fiddled with the idea of becoming a writer, and now as I spend much of my time writing I feel Lincoln-confident in capitalizing my own words, and beginning a sentence that may preface, hopefully, a writing career.

In fact, this blog may be my "When."

A Poem A Day Audrey


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