Ode to the Em Dash (The Musings of a Sleep-Deprived Grammar Enthusiast at 1 AM)

Oh, Em Dash! resplendent in thy linear glory!/Behold they versatility!/There you sit--silent, unassuming--on the snowy page,/Quietly clarifying, humbly interrupting./Thou art a prince of grammar--/--A beacon!/A shining knight of rightness!/Thy chivalry--/--That book of grammar, open and forlorn, forsaken by all but thee--/Now scorned, forgotten,/Once a glittering gem, but now/Dusty and wrinkled with age,/Is a monument./Faded even now into the obscurity of apathy,/Replaced carelessly with a hyphen, a comma, an ellipsis,/Still, you stand--/--straight, long--/A quiet, forgotten testimony/To the quiet simplicity of/A perfect sentence.//And yet! And yet there still is hope for us,/The lovers of rightness,/The antiquated./For, though others dismiss thee as tedium,/Too slow in this rush of life,/There still are those of us who are prostrate before the Grammarian Queen,/That glorious Semicolon who reposes, exultant in her regalia;/Us steadfast, devoted few who honor thee,/Respect thee,/--Love thee./To us--/To me--/You will always be great,/Never diminished with the disunion of that hateful dotted line,/That horrid double hyphen,/But proud and whole, you shall sit on my pages,/As defiantly--/Reverently--/My loyal fingers type out/—/And my faithful heart sings,/"Long Live Em Dash--Prince of the Page!"

Cara Kennaway


8 thoughts on “Ode to the Em Dash (The Musings of a Sleep-Deprived Grammar Enthusiast at 1 AM)

  1. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this post. The fact is, I simply couldn’t think of an apt reply to the staggering beauty of this poem. Truly your passion for grammar is unparalleled and inspiring.

    1 a.m. is really the best time to write poetry, incidentally. Nothing improves eloquence better than sleep deprivation. Nothing.

    1. Thank you, Pearl! *blushes* I’m glad there are people in the world who appreciate my fanaticism! :-)

      And the time of night (morning?) did seem to pay off this time, but usually I’m too busy being happily asleep to have much motivation to write at 1 AM. As much as I could probably benefit from writing instead of sleeping…It’s just not that worth it to me. (Sorry, Writing. I love you, I do, but I NEED TO SLEEP!!!)

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