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I have a quick question about the atypical grammar of mine. I am a poet using iambic pentameter. The question is whether the following is grammatically correct:

I she loathes. That I loathe.

Something + someone + loathe. (The someone loathes something). In other words, she loathes me and I loathe that. It would indeed be the same as saying:

She loathes me. I loathe that.

I understand that it would be better to use the second example, yet my only goal is to play with grammar (as long as it's not too much).

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closed as not a real question by JeffSahol, Robusto, tchrist, FumbleFingers, Mark Beadles Jun 7 '12 at 15:36

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I voted to close before the edits the OP made, and would like to withdraw that if I could. – JeffSahol Jun 6 '12 at 20:44
Don't you mean me she loathes? – Cerberus Jun 7 '12 at 1:34
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The examples you give in the first quote are a little awkward. Plus, "I she loathes" should be "Me, she loathes" (me the direct object) (I like the comma JeffSahol suggests). If with your use of iambic pentameter you are going for whimsy, then they'll work. If you're going for contemporary urban grit, they won't work unless you're using them ironically.

I'm assuming the two phrases you have suggested do not constitute the full line, since they do not have five feet.

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Your answer is clear and comprehensive. However, I probably won't end up using the awkward grammar because loathe doesn't have any perfect rhymes -_- thanks though! – JCOC611 Jun 6 '12 at 20:51
It has great near-rhymes, though -- old, toad, growth, ... (just off the top of my head at least. Good luck. – JAM Jun 6 '12 at 20:53
How is I she loathes correct? Its sounds wrong to me; it should perhaps be me she loathes. – Cerberus Jun 7 '12 at 1:31
I could swear I saw "Me she loathes." I will correct that in my answer. – JAM Jun 7 '12 at 13:52

I may be missing something, judging by the other answers, but normally:

I she loathes.

...would be thoroughly ungrammatical due to the wrong pronoun form. It should be:

Me, she loathes.

Of course poetic license allows you to bend this how you see fit, but you did ask about grammaticality.

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"Knock knock!", "Who's there?", "It is I" seems perfectly okay to me. As does "it is I she loves". I think in some cases the I/me distinction is just pedantry. – FumbleFingers Jun 7 '12 at 14:45
@FumbleFingers Your examples are both with the verb "to be" which as a linking verb or copula can arguably use either "I" or "me", yes. But in this case the verb's a straightforward transitive verb, and "She loathes I" is ungrammatical. That said - it's understandable and poetic license, etc. – Mark Beadles Jun 7 '12 at 14:53
Well, to be honest I don't really see what exactly OP is asking about. The "grammar" of the I/me distinction in one of his examples seems almost irrelevant in the context of poetry (and will definitely have been covered in earlier questions). The verb loathe is arbitrary here too, so all I can really see is something along the lines of "How acceptable is non-standard/archaic word order in poetry?". On balance, I vote to close. – FumbleFingers Jun 7 '12 at 15:02
@FumbleFingers Yes, I do see your point. – Mark Beadles Jun 7 '12 at 15:37

The sentences you gave are grammatical but would benefit from commas:

I, she loathes.

I don't know much about poetry, so I don't know if that will mess up the meter.

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I might consider commas, yet they seem to break the flow of the poem (not the meter, but the fluency with which it's read). – JCOC611 Jun 6 '12 at 20:47

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