Can we omit "the" in poems even if it makes the sentence nonsensical?

For example:

They remembered the taste of fruits they enjoy.

instead of:

They remembered the taste of the fruits they enjoy.


They love the light of kerosene lamps

instead of:

They love the light of the kerosene lamps

Even if we're referring to specific lamps and fruits.

When is it permitted to do so?


Basically you can do anything in poetry. Some would say that's the definition of poetry. Much poetry isn't Standard English. Try reading people like e e cummings.

It is definitely permissible to leave out 'the'. However, the two examples you give are 'correct' English as they are. Though, they don't refer to specific lamps and fruits.

| improve this answer | |

Permitted? As in a classroom setting?

Even then the teacher will likely give a lot of latitude regarding the "rules".

Otherwise as said by @S. Mitchell, you can do whatever you want. In poetry, grammar is just a guideline, a suggestion really, and the poem is often stronger by not being "correct".

Poe-teary is war roles: break "fast" is a most: Beauty! is imperfect, non- , grand mare is death: Ahum .

Since you asked about getting rid of those "the", I would suggest going further and getting rid of the gaggle of they, the, the... To me, those are unsavory, unnecessary, mouthfuls.

For example:

Memories of fruit's tasting


Remembrance of fruit's taste

instead of:

They remembered the taste of fruits they enjoy.


Love of the kerosene lamps' light


Lovely kerosene lamps' glow

Or if these are part of the same poem, I would destructure the sentences




Fruits' taste


Kerosene lamps

Though I admit these modifications change the meaning a bit.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.