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Emily Dickinson is known for her dashes and lack of grammatical consistency. There are plenty of theories regarding her unusual tastes — that she was free, that she was  bucking convention, that she was employing spaces in order to call attention to the empty construct of a world we live in — the norm. But my guess is that it just makes poems easier to write when she can ignore tenses by throwing in a dash. I gave it a shot in this poem that I just threw together:

I came
I saw
I Concord
Jelly ate.
To tame
My jaw
The jar —

See? What might have been an utterly ridiculous poem became perfectly normal with the insertion of a dash to cover a discrepancy in tenses.


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