Юлия Гофри (jgofri) wrote in linguaphiles,
Юлия Гофри

An bug or a feature?

I was wondering if you you could help me settle a small disagreement I had with my son today.
He had recently wrote a poem that starts with the following line:

"By the silver of the moonlight and the golden of the sun..."

Personally, I think this is not the correct usage of the word "golden."  When read separately, "the golden of the sun" does not seem to make sense (the golden what of the sun?).  One could think it refers to the word "light", but the word "light" is part of the "moonlight" here.  Then again, one could always spell it as "moon light".  Still sounds a bit off.

My son realized this is not quite a conventional use of the word, but seems to think it is OK in a poem.
On one hand, he is a native speaker, unlike myself.
On the other hand - well, he is a kid.  Elementary school age.

I know that in a poem you get away with (and even get praise for) some things you would not normally get away with in prose, and I was wondering whether this was one of those times.

Is it OK the way it is?
If not, will breaking the "moonlight" into "moon light" help?  Or should he search for a replacement? "gold light", for instance?

Like I said, it is a small thing, but it nags me.
Any input will be appreciated!

UPD.  Thank you very much!  I really appreciate all your responses. 

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