Truth Will Rise

Truth Will Rise s

A little background may be of interest. Reed and Kellog describe their work as ‘An Elementary English Grammar Consisting of One Hundred Practical Lessons, Carefully Graded and Adapted to the Class-Room.’

The book includes many diagrams, intended to ‘enable the pupil to present directly and vividly to the eye the exact function of every clause in the sentence, of every phrase in the clause, and of every word in the phrase–to picture the complete analysis of the sentence, with principal and subordinate parts in their proper relations. It is only by the aid of such a map, or picture, that the pupil can, at a single view, see the sentence as an organic whole made up of many parts performing various functions and standing in various relations. Without such map he must labor under the disadvantage of seeing all these things by piecemeal or in succession.’

The text above is taken from the Model: Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again.

They define the diagram as ‘a picture of the offices and relations of the different parts of a sentence.’

Explanation of the Diagram: In this diagram, the line standing for the principal word of the participial phrase is broken; one part slants, and the other is horizontal. This shows that the participle crushed is used like an adjective to modify Truth, and yet retains the nature of a verb, expressing an action received by truth.’

A Modifier is ‘a word or group of words joined to some part of the sentence to qualify or limit the meaning.’

Oral Analysis: This is a sentence, because: Truth is the subject,
because: will rise is the predicate,
because: the phrase, crushed to earth, is a modifier of the Subj.,
because: crushed introduces the phrase and is the principal word in it; the phrase to earth is a modifier of crushed; to introduces it, and earth is the principal word in it; again is a modifier of the Pred.,
because: Truth crushed to earth is the modified subject, will rise again is the modified predicate.’

But I just liked the way the diagrammatic analysis seemed to reveal subtle new layers of meaning in the sentence. (And isn’t ‘Brainerd’ a wonderful name?)



Filed under Poems

5 responses to “Truth Will Rise

  1. Amazing. I will definitely have to analyze this more closely.

  2. hermione

    Cor blimey, Mr.Cornflake must have been very brainerd!

    • Yes. I’ve made very minor changes to Alonzo and Brainerd’s original… essentially isolated from its context, of course, and prettied it up a little by using a second colour and a different typeface. Reminded me very much of some of the concrete poetry work of the ’60s and ’70s.

      It’s always astonishing to discover how much beauty and poetry there can be in the mundane.

  3. Until I read the blurb I thought I was being offered a cute poem which could read in different ways. Wow!

  4. Pingback: The Genial Summer | Letters For Friends

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