“To the Student Who Asked Why He Earned a ‘C’ on an Essay about Love” by Clint Margrave

For my friends who enjoy listening to poems, especially for Jean and Michelle who hoped I would record some in my own voice. Assuming you don’t hate my voice, I will try to do more from time to time.

Because love has its own grammar,
its own sentences,
some that run-on too long,
others just fragments.
It uses a language
not always appropriate
or too informal,
and often lacks clarity.

Love is punctuated all wrong,
changes tenses abruptly,
relies heavily
on the first person,
can be redundant,
full of unnecessary repetition.

Every word is compounded.
Every phrase, transitional.

Love doesn’t always know the difference
between lie and lay,
its introductions sometimes
lack a well-developed thesis,
its claims go unfounded,
its ad-hominem attacks
call in question
its authority.

With a style that’s inconsistent,
a voice either too critical
or too passive,
love is a rough draft
in constant need of revision,
whose conclusion
rarely gives any sense
of closure,
or reveals the lingering
possibilities of a topic
that always expects high praise,
and more often than not
fails to be anything
but average.

“To the Student Who Asked Why He Earned a ‘C’ on an Essay about Love” by Clint Margrave from Salute the Wreckage. © NYQ Books, 2016.

For Jean and others who may have had problems playing the audio file up top. This is it in another format:

Student earned c on love essay poem (audio link)

13 thoughts on ““To the Student Who Asked Why He Earned a ‘C’ on an Essay about Love” by Clint Margrave

  1. dw

    Thanks SO much, Christy, for your labor of love, your service to us, in sharing these wonderful poems, your insights and experience, and now your voice. A great gift!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jean

    Hi, I don’t know what’s wrong but my computer won’t play your audio. I’ve tried several things but it stays on 00.:00??. I’ll try again. Drat! What a poem, though! Yikes!


    1. Huh. That’s strange. I wonder if your computer doesn’t like the .m4a file type or if it’s the WordPress media embedder tool it doesn’t like. Other folks have played the file without issue, so the file itself should be okay.

      Since you had specifically mentioned me doing a reading, I want you to be able to hear the file! Give me a couple of minutes to upload it as an mp3 file and I’ll include it at the bottom of the post. Absolute worst case, I can upload it to youtube or something. I’m just an amateur computer geek…I know just enough to be dangerous, haha.


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