Tag Archives: preposition

Prepositions: a poem

Preposition: n. a function word that typically comes before a noun phrase to form a modifying phrase – examples: with, for, up, in out, of, beside

I always loved grammar, especially diagramming sentences. It made the language so orderly.

Thanks to Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac, which arrives in my inbox every day, I learned about  humorist and biographer Morris Bishop, born this day in 1893, who wrote a poem about prepositions.

[Bishop] was a brilliant scholar, fluent in German, Swedish, French, Spanish, Latin, and modern Greek. He wrote biographies of Pascal, Champlain, La Rochefoucauld, Petrarch, and St. Francis. But we remember him best as the author of light verse, such as this:

I lately lost a preposition:
It hid, I thought, beneath my chair.
And angrily I cried: “Perdition!
Up from out of in under there!”

Correctness is my vade mecum,
And straggling phrases I abhor;
And yet I wondered: “What should he come
Up from out of in under for?”