Can you give examples of poets taking liberty with language?Can you give examples of poets taking liberty with language?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Many poets take liberties with the language that they use within their poems. This is understandable given that poetry is accepted, regardless of thematics, as a piece of work which does not need any type of standards by which to exist. Poets can embrace the fact that punctuation, grammar, and spelling can simply be ignored given poetry lives outside of the standards set by writing and language.

Poets can bend and break the rules of language without being held to the same standards as a novelist or critic. This being said, many examples exist where poets take control over their work by creating new words, new comparisons, and novel ideas.

One example of a poet taking libery with language is Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky":

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Many would look at the string of words as being non-sensical. Basically, they are. But when placed within the context of the poem, the words begin to take on meaning.

Poets, who are able to master language, are able to chop, dissect, and create new words which will convey meaning even if the words have never been seen before.

Another example of this lies in the poem "He Lived at Dingle Bank" by Edward Lear:

But he grew rabid-wroth, he did,
If they neglected books,
And dragged them to adjacent Cliffs
With beastly Button Hooks,
And there with fatuous glee he threw
Them down into the ocean blue.

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