The uniform of ever after

10 May

The uniform of ever after

(On reading ever after, a poetry chapbook by Robert Martens.)

All small letters
of the English alphabet
are jealous of the characters
who got set
into ever after –
a socialist utopia
of egalitarian equivalence
with no capitals in sight.
Syntax wars
of who comes first
in sentence or name
and gets promoted
to upper
now over.
Any low case letter gets to live
east of exclamation point
question mark, period.
They all bask
in eyeballs’ equal attention
— though there is talk
by a, c, n and others
it’s time
b, d, f, h, k, l and t
get their heads out of the clouds
and g, j, p, q and y
stop passing notes
under the table.

© 2011 by Violet Nesdoly


A couple of years ago a local poet read from his newly released book ever after at our local poetry group’s reading series. I enjoyed his poems and bought a book. One of the first things I noticed about his poetry on the page was that he didn’t use any capital letters. That got me thinking about what no capitals signifies — and “the uniform of ever after” is the result.

This post is linked at this week’s One Shot Wednesday, week 45


Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Light, Writing


8 responses to “The uniform of ever after

  1. janiek28

    May 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    very nice write and very fun to read…clever as can be and very creative…to write about the ways and styles one writes…to touch upon the necessities needed to maintain our sensitivity and our compassion, an integral part of all the upper and lower case lettering and exclamation points and dots and colons and feelings needed to keep poetry alive…thank you for your wonderful poem…again, it is very cleverly written and well thought out…


  2. brian

    May 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    haha…being an all lower case poet, i wonder what my letters have to say to each other…fanciful one shot.


  3. tolbert

    May 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    busted…i never use capital letters in my poetry and i do have a good
    understanding why that is. i like what you have done with this, very
    clever and i must say my reason for all lowercase is not nearly so elaborate.
    good job.


  4. dustus

    May 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Indeed, a clever poem. Added emphasis when you hit the word period. Such an interesting commentary on many levels through letters, literally.


  5. Maureen

    May 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Very charming, Violet. All hail e e cummings.


  6. Henry Clemmons (Effects of Light)

    May 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    HA! Loved it. creaTIVE.


  7. Gay Cannon

    May 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Maureen said it first.. exactly what I thought I’d write. e e cummings and he had lots of reasons why and named his characters things like anyone and noone and everyone. They married, had children and got old all sans capital letters. Well done, you! Gay


  8. C Rose

    May 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Very clever work, I enjoyed this! ~ Rose



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