A near foolproof way to ensure that your child will never be a good artist is to teach them how to meticulously color inside of the lines in their coloring book.
I’m quite lucky — my mother is an Art Professor and Professional Artist — she banned coloring books from our house! Instead, we were given blank sheets of paper and told to draw.
Both Shakespeare and Milton lived in an era when there was no such thing as “proper” spelling or grammar — and it shows. Their writing transcends the dungeoneous narrow confines of polite society, they colored far outside the lines, and have left us in awe for it.
Rules only have meaning in their spirit, never in their details. Enforce the spirit, destroy the details.
I’ll leave you with Milton’s Sonnet 19 — let the eyes of the grammar Nazis bleed.
When I consider how my light is spent,
E’re half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide,
Lodg’d with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, least he returning chide,
Doth God exact day labour, light deny’d,
I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts, who best
Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’re Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and waite.
And here is Falstaff, perhaps Shakespeare’s most honest mouthpiece.
Well, ’tis no matter; honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honour set-to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word “honour”? What is that “honour”? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. ’Tis insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.
Now go lift something heavy,