Friday, February 29, 2008


I dislike adverbs.

They are almost as bad as plastic flower pots.

Both have occasional uses - but, mostly, not.

I’m starting a campaign against them - adverbs, that is.

This is its inauguration.

I’m inviting you to send

over-adverbial poems to me:-

If they are no longer than six lines - and aren’t very good - I may publish them.
(To publish good ones would be counter-productive.)

Here’s an example. (Ming wrote it in my honour. He’s doing English as a foreign language at night-school.)

Quickly, she lifted her feet.
Swiftly, she ran the race.
Neatly, she packed her adverbs
And sent them into space.

(Except, it needs to be worse than that!)

I look forward to hearing from my allies!


When I came down to breakfast this morning, Ming had dismantled his spaceship and spread

its parts across the living room floor.

Lucy arrived - all flustered because she’d opened a letter delivered to her by mistake.

It was another bill from Manchester.

She was impressed. If Ming was prepared to spend £5,000 per book about geraniums, he must be a real expert.

Then she noticed the springs and coils and nuts and bolts and motion distributors (and things) arranged in groups around the carpet.

“What . . . ?”

I looked as startled as I could; and replied quietly.

“Didn’t I tell you? Ming is working at the M.O.D.? . . . Um . . . Shall we go to the kitchen?”

* * * * *

Ming went up to the Junior School but still couldn’t explain why he doesn’t know the names of our children.

“It’s because we don’t have any!” I said. (Not only was I exasperated - I was frightened.)

Sometimes, it crosses my mind that he may not really be a Martian - simply ‘mad’.

_ _ _ _ _

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For Tomorrow

1 comment:

Patrice said...

Ok, Esther, my adverb poem is up, and this was a fun exercise! Thanks for the encouragement.