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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Insomniac Romance" by Lynn Levin -- Verse Daily, 4/17/2013

from Miss Plastique
poem found here

first lines:
We hate to hate each other but we do—
hen feeling bad because of that we lay us

First off: I am pretty sure yet another typo by Verse Daily folk, since "then" or even "when" makes much more sense than "hen" in line 2.

a grammar note

Two quick bits about line 9:

my steadfast partner, in the practice death.

Question #1: Do you see that the meaning of the line changes with the presence or absence of the comma?

If you do not have the comma, then "in the practice death" is connect to "partner": it be comes a single phrase. The line would the  be saying that they are partners specifically in the context of the practice death (as in "partners in crime"). But if you put the comma in, then "in the practice death" no longer connects to "partner," but to the action of the sentence: "I like your breath and skin in the practice death," narrowing the event of the liking, saying there is something particular about the other's skin and breath in the practice death that they like.

Question #2: Which one do you think works better in the poem?

There is definitely a difference. Though, I don't there's a more valid answer. But it is an interesting question to ponder, in so long as you bring the whole of the poem into the question.

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