An apostrophe is an address – or a question – addressed to someone or something – i.e. an apple? The person – or thing – doesn’t have to be present – or living.
Examples of familiar apostrophe poems include:
- 'Milton' by William Wordsworth
- Julius Caesar and King Lear by William Shakespeare
- "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats
- "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" by Lord Byron
- O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman
- "The Sun Rising" by John Donne
One of the more famous contemporary poems is Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy”:
It’s a poem from our archives – Negative Capability: Vol XIV: 1& 2, 1994. The poem is by Nicholas Stix – who in 1994 was in Brooklyn, NY.
MAKING PANCAKES IS AN EXACT ART
Please do no call to me, Mother,
While I am making pancakes,
The making of pancakes
Is an exact art,
Nothing may come bet ween a man
And the particular pancake
In his pan,
This is known as
For I have wept and prayed,
And fasted and suffered,
And partaken of many
A burnt pancake,
And this I have learned:
Making pancakes is an exact art.
I can think of several people and things this morning I could address:
Eve’s apple / Spring Hawthorne (Today is the first day of Spring 2015), my dog, panting / my sister whom I can no longer call on the phone), My father, my dead father (after Lissa Kiernan), my lisping computer / my husband who is having at our bathroom mirror . . .
The apostrophe has a wide range of possibility. Try it.