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MENTOR - One for the Money

From the introduction...

As infants, our adventure in language begins with gurgles, ululations and repeated syllables. We sound out our first words, then phrases, and at last, complete sentences. Those first sentences may be curt, but the linguistic, intellectual and emotional distance that divides a child’s howling, “Don’t!”, from her shouting “Don’t want!”, and finally “I don’t want to go to bed”, are great indeed, as any parent knows. With the addition of a very few words, a single utterance becomes a sentence capable of enormous nuance, subtlety and scope.

We took the title for our book from the children’s rhyme, because we wanted to emphasize the fundamental nature of the poetic strategies we’ve highlighted here. When you’re
‘ready to go,’ the sentence is a logical and most profitable way to initiate a poem. Every poem in this book is one sentence long. Teaching creative writing in high schools, colleges,
universities, and at writer’s conferences, we have found that the one-sentence poem provides students with the comfort of a poetic template without being prescriptive, and the freedom to explore various poetic strategies within the flexible confines of a simple, familiar structure. The sentence offers writers an elemental, syntactically discrete utterance. When the subject and the verb are implied rather than named, a sentence may be composed of a single word, for instance, “No.” With the addition of clauses (dependent, referential, declarative), or asides (digression, elaboration, emphatic repetition), the sentence may be extended to tremendous
lengths.

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