Wind and Window Flower

LOVERS, forget your love,
  And list to the love of these,
She a window flower,
  And he a winter breeze.

When the frosty window veil
  Was melted down at noon,
And the cagèd yellow bird
  Hung over her in tune,

He marked her through the pane,
  He could not help but mark,
And only passed her by,
  To come again at dark.

He was a winter wind,
  Concerned with ice and snow,
Dead weeds and unmated birds,
  And little of love could know.

But he sighed upon the sill,
  He gave the sash a shake,
As witness all within
  Who lay that night awake.

Perchance he half prevailed
  To win her for the flight
From the firelit looking-glass
  And warm stove-window light.

But the flower leaned aside
  And thought of naught to say,
And morning found the breeze
  A hundred miles away.

        — Robert Frost
           Frost died 50 years ago today.

If someone bullies you or doesn’t like you because he or she thinks you have shitty taste in clothes or sexual orientation or whatever it is, according to the laws of tit-for-motherfucking-tat, you have the right to dislike that person for having shitty taste in behaving like a decent human being.

These people are demonstrating their own poor judgement. Much like you shouldn’t get in cars driven by drunken idiots, how you think about yourself should not be based on the opinions of people who broadcast their inability to think.

We do not take diamonds to toddlers for appraisal. You are a gem. You must not allow unqualified jackasses to determine your value.


Anonymous asked: Hi! If you don't mind me asking, what's the typo in the new Batman that other Anon was talking about a couple of posts back?


grownuplittlegirl-deactivated20 asked: Hi. I'm a If that's what you would call it. I do have a question, though, and it's probably going to sound really dumb. The thing is, you're usually so clear and concise with your meaning. I've learned so much from your direct approaches to grammar, than I have from the tedious beating-about-a-bush I usually get. Just another counter measure, to make sure that you don't do to my future book what you've done to Twilight. What's the difference between 'Who' and 'whom'?

"Who" is used for subjects; "whom" is used for objects. If I love you (and I do, truly), I am the subject and you are the object of my both my aforementioned affection and the sentence. Who loves you? I do. Whom do I love? You.

The One Contact Lense To Rule Them All

Can someone who has read LoTR (I have not) explain to me where Sauron was going to put the ring if he got it back?


Anonymous asked: Have you ever read Glamour of Grammar? If you have read it, what do you think of it? If you haven't, I highly recommend it.

I have not, but I think it’s wish-listed somewhere. When I get around to reading it, I’m sure I’ll post about it. Thanks for the suggestion.


Anonymous asked: Dear Dana, I cannot create a new paragraph, which foils my plan to write this in letter format. Boohoo. Two things. First: have you watched the new Batman and seen the typo in the first half? I clawed at my own skin right there in the cinema. Second: am I the only person in the world who has been using the word "incorrigible" to mean "horrible, impossible to bear" when it actually means "unable to be changed/corrected"? I hope not. Best, Anon

Dear Best Anon,

  1. Yes. Apparently, the mnemonic rule is “I before E, except after seeing your parents get shot.”
  2. You’re probably not alone on the “incorrigible” thing, since I think the word is most commonly used in reference to bratty children. It is not unreasonable to assume the “horrible” definition from that context.



Anonymous asked: I love grammar and I love you! That's all I have to say, really.

That’s crazy. Grammar and I were just talking about how much we love you!


shirabara asked: Hi Dana! I noticed in one of your older entries that you mentioned your pillowcase and that it had a name. Out of curiosity, what IS your pillowcase's name?


It was part of a linen set my father had before he married my mother in 1979. The background is a greyish beige (which may have been white once upon a time), and it has blotchy branches and leaves in shades of green. Sometimes, I try to imagine what it must look like to someone seeing it for the first time. I suppose it’s probably ugly in the way decorations from the 70s often are, but I can’t see it objectively. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have it, nor do I remember naming it. It was always just there and Trees.

Am I the only one who thought King Henry VIII was holding a banana in his right hand?

Am I the only one who thought King Henry VIII was holding a banana in his right hand?

I’m a writer; I can float for hours on a word like “amethyst” or “broom” or the way so many words sound like what they are: “earth” so firm and basic, “air” so light, like a breath. You can’t imagine them the other way around: She plunged her hands into the rich brown air. Sometimes I think I would like to be a word - not a big important word, like “love” or “truth,” just a small ordinary word, like “orange” or “inkstain” or “so,” a word that people use so often and so unthinkingly that its specialness has all been worn away, like the roughness on a pebble in a creek bed, but that has a solid heft when you pick it up, and if you hold it to the light at just the right angle you can glimpse the spark at its core. — Katha Pollitt