NABOKV-L post 0014274, Mon, 4 Dec 2006 12:49:50 -0500

Subject
MR's last word on PF (quality of)
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Part of the problem we've had in discussing whether or not to
call "PF" a poem is revealed by the critical sentence in Frost's
"The Figure a Poem Makes": "It is but a trick poem and no poem
at all." Frost is using the word "poem" in two different ways:
the former descriptive, the latter prescriptive. The conjunction
implies that the meanings are not mutually exclusive. Something
may be a poem, but not *a poem*.

Webster's 2nd, btw, is prescriptive, too. I adore it, but I still
prefer the OED.

Matthew Roth

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