Is this couplet well phrased?


Hi there,
Kindly tell me whether the following translated couplet is well phrased or not.

I hold poetic gatherings
Only to sing of You, for otherwise
There is no gathering that I cannot
Conjure up in my solitude

I think if we write it as " there is no gathering that I CAN conjure up..." then its meanings become more clear. In other words its meanings are "I think only of You in my loneliness". Please, please clear my confusion.

asked Jun 12 '13 at 08:27 AuhQureshi New member

1 answer


Poetry is often written in a manner that is not very clear on purpose. The purpose is to make the reader think or interpret meaning. The part that is confusing you is called a double negative. In math, a negative number times a negative number equals a positive number. A double negative in grammar is the same. In your example, it means I can conjure up any gathering. I agree that this doesn't seem to make sense when taken in context with the preceding words. Removing the double negative does make more sense to me. However, poetic license allows for all sorts of strange writing. Mick Jagger "can't get no satisfaction," but the whole world knows that he means he can't get "any" satisfaction.

link comment answered Jun 12 '13 at 12:28 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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