Jump to content

For MikeO and other lovers of Grammar or Poetry


Recommended Posts

I heard this poem today on the Writer's Almanac and was laughing so hard in the car. This writer is a genius. I never noticed this grammatical error even though I've seen the screen a million times.




Windows is Shutting Down

by Clive James

Windows is shutting down, and grammar are
On their last leg. So what am we to do?
A letter of complaint go just so far,
Proving the only one in step are you.

Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes.
A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad
Before they gets to where you doesnt knows
The meaning what it must be meant to had.

The meteor have hit. Extinction spread,
But evolution do not stop for that.
A mutant languages rise from the dead
And all them rules is suddenly old hat.

Too bad for we, us what has had so long
The best seat from the only game in town.
But there it am, and whom can say its wrong?
Those are the break. Windows is shutting down.

"Windows Is Shutting Down" by Clive James from Opal Sunset: Selected poems, 1958–2008. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big fan of Clive James and you're right, he is a genius. One of the most erudite and grammatically correct people on the planet so I'm not entirely sure what his intention was with that.


Amazing that he's still alive!


"For much of his early life, James was a heavy drinker and smoker. He recorded in 'May Week Was in June' his habit of filling a hubcap ashtray daily. At various times he wrote of attempts – intermittently successful – to give up drinking and smoking. He admitted smoking 80 cigarettes a day for a number of years. In April 2011, after media speculation that he had suffered kidney failure, James confirmed that he was suffering from B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and had been in treatment for 15 months at Addenbrooke's Hospital. In an interview with BBC Radio 4 in June 2012, James admitted that the disease "had beaten him" and that he was "near the end". He said that he was also diagnosed with emphysema and kidney failure in early 2010.
On 3 September 2013, a television interview, 'Clive James: The Kid from Kogarah', was broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) with James interviewed by journalist Kerry O'Brien. The interview was filmed in the library of his old college at Cambridge University.
In a BBC interview with Charlie Stayt, broadcast on 31 March 2015, James described himself as "near to death but thankful for life". However, in October 2015 he admitted to feeling "embarrassment" at still being alive thanks to experimental drug treatment."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think it's some out of the box thinking. i believe it should be 'Windows are shutting down', but instead he decides to go along with the grammatical error and the whole poem is one massive error. the bigger picture of the poem speaks to how grammar has gone to shit in the modern age.


i thought it was absolutely brilliant. very difficult to find the exact wrong grammer with each of those phrases and yet still have the reader understand but cringe.



thanks for the info on Clive mike, i'll have to find more of his work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't remember when it was ( many years ago), I went to see Clive James live on stage, he was doing some kind of book tour and we thought it would be a decent nights entertainment.He came on stage, opened his jacket, took out his new book and proceeded to read chuncks from said book............the only thing that prevented most from walking out, was the fact that they were asleep.

There was a question and answer session at the end, one person asked nearly all the questions, wouldn't be surprised if that person left the building with Mr James!

Sorry Clive, but it was terrible!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...