To see the world as a grain of sand
And the tedium of the flower,
To have infinite distraction right at hand
but feel an eternity in an hour.
Imagine someone says “I live with my parents” and another says “I’m living with my parents”. At first blush they seem to be two equally acceptable ways of saying the same thing: that the speaker currently lives with their parents. However, knowledge of the grammatical distinctions between these two ways of saying it can reveal extra information about the speaker’s meaning that they perhaps did not intend to show. “I live” is in present simple tense, whilst “I’m living” is in present continuous tense. This may seem a purely academic (and boring) distinction, but each tense actually has different distinct uses and the competent user of English will subconsciously select the one most appropriate for their situation. By analysing the likely reasons for their choice we can infer more information from their statement than the individual words suggest.
Here’s a video I recorded of myself reading one of my spoken-word poems for an online charity slam.
Here’s a recording of a radio short I wrote. No comments about bad acting please.
"I’d give anything
for England to draw right now”
my father said
as we were losing 2-1 to Italy.
And I imagined the look
on my mother’s face later that night
as he presented her with the contract
drawn up by the Devil himself
(who was listening in from behind the sofa).
There, signed in blood, would be
my father’s hasty scrawl,
with me packing a bag
trying to think how many socks I’d need
for an eternity in hellfire
while the TV flashed
the triumphant words: 2-2.