The Dreadful Story Of Sarah Thomasin, A Grammar Pedant (Poetry Form Twenty Nine: Cautionary Tale)


April 11, 2012 by Sez

Heavens! I’ve been featured on the NaPoWriMo website. Hello Napowrimoans! *waves*

Cautionary Tales are grisly stories, usually in rhyming couplets of iambic tetrameter, expounding on a major flaw in the main character, and telling, in unpleasant detail, what dreadful fate befell them as a consequence. They are generally darkly humorous, making them popular with children, but have a serious moral message. This one is about me, and is all true except the ending (hopefully).

The chief defect of Thomasin
Was putting all the commas in
To other people’s notes and letters
Insisting she could make them better
Because the woman truly hated
To see things badly punctuated
Poor grammar use and careless spelling
Had her swivel-eyed and yelling
She would start up great petitions
Slamming dangling prepositions
And her rage made people stammer
Fearful she’d correct their grammar.
She had known, fresh from the womb
How to distinguish “who” from “whom”
So she’d get angry, and she’d show it
When her peers didn’t know it.
Thomasin was so pedantic
She drove everybody frantic.
But alas, one fateful night
Ms Thomasin beheld a sight
That pained her mightily to see:
A twenty-four hour pharmacy
Which said (and here she had conniptions)
“Were here to help with you’re prescription’s”
Though the hour was very late
Our hero did not hesitate
For she knew no catastrophe
Worse than a rogue apostrophe.
So in she marched, and, feeling strong
Cried out “Your sign’s completely wrong!”
But found, too late, that she had stumbled
On a hold-up, badly bungled.
The mood was tense, the guns were out
And seeing her, the robber shout-
Ed, “You best lay down on the floor
And don’t tell no-one what you saw!”
Said Thomasin “It’s lie, not lay,
And I don’t think you meant to say
“Don’t tell no-one” because that means
You’re asking me to spill the beans.”
The grammar lesson ended there
The gun’s report hangs in the air.
And from our pedant’s temple pours
Her final unrestrictive clause.
The moral’s what you all expected:
No-one likes to be corrected.


6 thoughts on “The Dreadful Story Of Sarah Thomasin, A Grammar Pedant (Poetry Form Twenty Nine: Cautionary Tale)

  1. Nikhil Jain says:

    ..Amazing poem,loved it..

  2. Oh, that was fantastic. You had me rolling with this, and not only because I see more than a little of myself in your character. Thanks for the fun and slightly morbid poem. Very well done!

  3. eesnyder says:

    Very fun! I can see this being a smash hit performance piece. 😀

  4. aprille says:

    You’d better start writing your letters
    to all those folk that are your betterS
    or possibly your betters’ betters
    a letter of apology 🙂

    You’d got me rolling in the aisles now.

  5. ACW says:

    I love this so much. 😀 Had Roald Dahl’s Cautionary Tales when I was little, and this is a brilliant adult version – punctuation-themed. 😛 Love it!

  6. This is fantastic! I really love what you are doing with this site. I can’t wait to see your future work.

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