Grissom's Grammar and Composition

This blog is for any student writing papers for college, for current and former students in my Communications Cluster at Lindenwood University, and my students at St. Charles Community College.

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I write for myself, for the web, and for everyone who gets me. I've been on a fasting liquid diet, traveled to Europe, and raised 2 kids. And I'm directionally challenged - I get lost a lot.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Featured Poet Cherie Browning

Cherie Browning

December 3, 2008

A Day in the Life of Me
A day in the life of me
It’s so easy for one to see
How the stress of everyday life
Can easily get to me.
Waking up in the morning
To start the day,
Getting ready for work,
When I’d rather play.
Rushing out the door,
Praying I haven’t forgotten a thing,
Jumping in the car with the radio on
And ready to sing.
Rushing home after work,
With chores there waiting for me,
I just want to get it all done for
A day in the life of me.
Yep. We all feel like this once in awhile. And miles to go before I sleep...

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Featured Poet Rick Turner

Rick Turner

Swedish Massage

My head aches with the pain of homework overload.
I want a Swedish massage from my head down to my toes.
How bout a Swedish girl who can take my pain away
And help me find something to do on a cold and dreadful day.

My mind races with the thoughts of the happiness of fools,
While symphonies of love march down my avenue.
I listen to the beat, but the melody is cheap
Like the vodka in my drink.

Divine spark, divine justice plague my weary soul.
My spirit has amnesia, I’m dying of a cold.
I can’t get out of logic’s clear and empty snare.
While death is on the line, a choice I won’t declare.

My muscles tear while I wear my heart upon my sleeve.
I can’t take the easy way to find simple relief
From the net of practical living in a tipsy turvy world.
Whatever happened to my Swedish girl?

Love the line, "My spirit has amnesia, I'm dying of a cold." It captures that disconnection between your will and your body. Lots of interesting imagery to daydream the homework away.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Featured Poet Christy Straight

Our Little Princess

You bring us so much joy
We love you with all our heart
You are our little princess,
Ever since the start

You came into this world
With those pretty bright blue eyes
You are our little princess,
Our very special prize

Each day you get bigger
Look how fast you’ve grown
You are our little princess,
A person of her own

Though some things may change
Please remember to see
You are our little princess,
And that you’ll always be

By Christy Straight

Many poets write to and about their children, with good reason. Every kid should know they're this loved.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Featured Poet Lynette Rush


The trail of life tends to twist and turn
The many pathways we look down
Our hearts, each gives a yearn
For something to relieve the frown
We may meet hardships on our way
Or sail down smooth descents
Make sure you do not have to pay
Or feel any resents
Push forward and be of good cheer
Don’t be dragged down by strife
Think only good thoughts year after year
Cherish what you have in life
You are only given one
Make the most of it, my son

I love the line "Or sail down smooth descents" It makes me think of park slides in the summertime.

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Featured Poet Lisa Jacobs

“45 Minutes”

Settled in above the poorly lit landscape,
The bitter cold peels away at my many layers.
As the sun begins to rise over another season,
I ponder, as always, why I have come.

My growing resentment interrupted
By sudden movement in the field below.
His long, white fingers wave at me
From the brush, and then they are gone.

My heart pumps harder, erasing the cold
And replacing the peaceful quite of this place
With the deafening beat of the drum.
I can no longer think, instinct taken over.

Foolishly, he reveals himself upon the path.
Uncertainty creeps in for but a moment,
Dismissed by an exhale, a squint,
And the slow squeeze of the trigger.

BANG! Death comes to him
As he drops instantly from my view.
The expected remorse does not come.
My father’s dream; the hunter.

I love this confessional poem about Lisa's experience deer hunting with her Dad. Especially the line "The bitter cold peels away at my many layers." You can just feel the wind frisking her.

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Grades Are Now Posted

Hi everyone. Hope you're having a great holiday.

Grades are now posted for Fall 2008, and you should be able to access them through your Lindenwood portal. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Featured Poet Cherie Ellis

Cherie Ellis
5 December 2008


Life comes and goes quickly
Don’t let it pass you by
Cherish every moment
So the past won’t make you cry
Remember what is special
And forget about the lies

Protect the things that matter
Hold them inside your heart
Guide the people close to you
No matter where you start
Show them life is special
And bring them from the dark

Life comes and goes quickly
Don’ let it pass you by

This is a traditional carpe diem poem. Seize the day; appreciate your life now. I still want to see the other version, Cherie!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Featured Poet Blaine Chazelle

Blaine Chazelle
December 3, 2008


Is this where I should be?
Knee high to a grasshopper I ran the fields
It was an easy life of hard work
Where is seemed like time stood still
Back in the woods
We grew what we ate
And never let any waste
I remember it well the stars at night
Cows in the pasture
The sweet aroma of the swine
Now it's city light
And life at a 100mph
I’ll always wish for a simpler time
But I settle with this for now

I love the line "It was an easy life of hard work" Hard physical labor can be less taxing than thinking and worrying about paying the bills as a grown up. Remember than oxymoron thing people? That's this line. Two contradictory ideas next to each other. Excellent work, Blaine.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Review for Literature Skills Assessment & Email Problem

FYI Due to technical problems, I haven't been able to access my campus email since Wednesday. If you have a question or want to send your poem, forward your email to

Test Review

1. Be able to explain the elements of short fiction in detail. Review the pages in our Literature book and include as much detail as possible.

2. Be able to extensively explain three ways poets construct their poems. (Information is in the chapter on a poet's means) Give examples. Rhyme, imagery, personification, alliteration, assonance, metaphor, similes, apostrophe...

3. Know the elements of drama and how drama differs from short fiction and poetry. Dialogue and Staging are the two principle differences - but how does the experience differ between reading a story and seeing a play?

All papers must be turned in the last class unless you have an approved incomplete. Bring a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want your papers back after class concludes. Put your address as the return address on the envelope.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Poets Claimed for Oral Presentations and Class Update

Remember Tuesday people, bring your graded journal back this week.

Both Classes: I will be collecting either your journals or the Literature paper this week.

I have added the Lit paper assignment to the website. Submit the Lit paper to as you are printing it out this week or next week. You have until 24 hours after the last class to submit the paper; after that it will be counted as late and points will be deducted.

The following poets have been claimed so far:

Tuesday Class
Alan Ginsberg
Langston Hughes
Robert Frost
Dorothy Parker
Yusef Komunyakaa
Anne Sexton
Marge Piercy
Emily Bronte
Lewis Carroll
Galway Kinnell
Sylvia Plath

Wednesday Class
Anne Sexton
Dylan Thomas
Dorothy Parker
Carl Sandburg
Robert Frost
Howard Nemerov
Sylvia Plath
Francesca Petrarca


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Senior Moment

Okay, Tuesday class. I just realized I didn't record your journal grades before I gave them back to you last night. So if you could bring your journals to class next week so I can record the grades, I would appreciate it.

Wednesday class, I have your journal grades recorded and will return journals to you tonight. See you then. Oh, and bring some lyrics to a song you like if you happen to read this blog. If you don't have time, you can write them from memory in class. A couple verses will do.