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  1. #1
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    Default Word order inversion in poems

    In my native language (Portuguese) word order inversions are normal in poems, and result in a nice striking effect. In two poems I have written in English I tried word order inversions, but I am not sure how acceptable this practice would be in English. Please take a look at the two verses below (from two different poems) and tell me whether I should rewrite the poems!!!

    I've come your skin to undress
    But fall, succumb and surrender
    Pink mounts I'll climb and caress
    Dark caves I'll find very tender


    Than birds you can be no higher
    Although in orbit you can soar
    They fly with wings, you with fire
    Will you deserve so much more?

    Of course, the meaning without the inversions would be "I have come here with the intent of undressing you"
    and "Mankind cannot be superior to birds" (Maybe this individual inversion would be acceptable, considering that the "voice" of the poem is that of the atom, or a god, not a human being.)

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Word order inversion in poems

    just suggestions -

    I've come to undress your skin
    But fall, succumb and surrender
    Pink mounts I'll climb and caress
    Dark caves I'll find very tender


    No higher than birds for you
    Although in orbit, you soar
    They fly with wings, you with fire
    Do you deserve so much more?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Word order inversion in poems

    Quote Originally Posted by José Lázaro da Silva View Post
    In my native language (Portuguese) word order inversions are normal in poems, and result in a nice striking effect. In two poems I have written in English I tried word order inversions, but I am not sure how acceptable this practice would be in English. Please take a look at the two verses below (from two different poems) and tell me whether I should rewrite the poems!!!

    I've come your skin to undress no
    But fall, succumb and surrender yes
    Pink mounts I'll climb and caress yes
    Dark caves I'll find very tender yes


    Than birds you can be no higher no
    Although in orbit you can soar yes
    They fly with wings, you with fire yes
    Will you deserve so much more? yes

    Of course, the meaning without the inversions would be "I have come here with the intent of undressing you"
    and "Mankind cannot be superior to birds" (Maybe this individual inversion would be acceptable, considering that the "voice" of the poem is that of the atom, or a god, not a human being.)
    the first line of each verse doesn't work for me. it's too awkward.
    the rest is OK.
    Your skin I've come to undress, is OK
    no higher than birds can you be, is OK

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Word order inversion in poems

    Dear Wanda, I did like your suggestions. The first keeps "undress" at the end so the rhyme is maintained. The second can also maintain the rhyme if I use "can you fly"; the interesting point is that your suggestions are grammatical without running away from the original meanings; and they had never occurred to me.
    Thanks a lot.
    Lazaro in Brazil.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Word order inversion in poems

    Am I the only person who doesn't see how you can undress skin?

    You can undress ME, but I have this vague sense of grossness about undressing SKIN - like some sort of psycho-killer who wants to take my skin off of me, instead of undressing me down TO my skin.

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