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Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2018 1:25:05 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 217
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Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

What type of structure is this?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
RuthP
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2018 2:04:16 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 5,232
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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Atatürk wrote:
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

What type of structure is this?

Not quite correct. d'oh!

You have two complete sentences here and they have been smashed together without a grammatically appropriate connection. Your sentence is what is termed a comma splice. This is a very common mistake among native-speaker writers.

Come to the window. Sweet is the night air.
Come to the window; sweet is the night air. (Probably more appropriate because the sweet night air is probably why I wish you to come to the window, thus the sentences are closely tied and a semicolon is appropriate.)
Come to the window, for sweet is the night air. (Also good, as it clarifies the meaning.)

"Sweet is the night air" is a poetic phrasing, which inverts the subject and adjective. One would expect to see this in poetry, some literature, and occasionally during a romantic interlude.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2018 10:28:33 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,763
Neurons: 46,157
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Ruth -

This is one of the lines in "Dover Beach" I've always found so evocative. It's almost like author-intrusion.

But whenever I have to read it aloud in lectures etc. it's the one line in the entire poem that I never know quite how to say. It breaks up the flow which, I think is why I always imagine it really is the voice of Mathew Arnold coming through. It was, after all, written on/about his honeymoon. wasm't it?
palapaguy
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2018 11:12:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 1,262
Neurons: 11,310
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
RuthP wrote:
Atatürk wrote:
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

What type of structure is this?

Not quite correct. d'oh!

You have two complete sentences here and they have been smashed together without a grammatically appropriate connection. Your sentence is what is termed a comma splice. This is a very common mistake among native-speaker writers.

Come to the window. Sweet is the night air.
Come to the window; sweet is the night air. (Probably more appropriate because the sweet night air is probably why I wish you to come to the window, thus the sentences are closely tied and a semicolon is appropriate.)
Come to the window, for sweet is the night air. (Also good, as it clarifies the meaning.)

"Sweet is the night air" is a poetic phrasing, which inverts the subject and adjective. One would expect to see this in poetry, some literature, and occasionally during a romantic interlude.

AGREE! The semicolon works nicely. And thank you for the de-hyphenization!
Romany
Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2018 5:51:07 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,763
Neurons: 46,157
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Palapaguy,

As it's a very famous line, written by a very famous poet, in a very well-known poem, we have to accept that however it was written it is what Arnold MEANT.

The way he wrote it was with the semi-colon.

Seeking to change a line of poetry isn't a great plan: poets have a reason for the way they present each line; for every comma, semi-colon or full-stop. It's up to the reader to interpret what the poet wrote - not to change it to what the reader thinks would be a better way to say it.
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