Poetry is not limited to poets.
1. say more
2. in fewer words,
you are being poetic.
Pithy, insightful statements are poetry.
Frederik Pohl was not trying to explain why we increase our purchases of ice cream, alcohol, and entertainment when we are sad, but he summarizes it perfectly in just 20 words:
“What I wanted very badly was something to take my mind off all the things that were on my mind.”1
In another of his books, Frederik Pohl uses just 15 words to remind us of something we have often seen and always known:
“No circumstances were ever so bad that a little human effort couldn’t make them worse.”2
Frederik Pohl was not a poet or a philosopher, but a science fiction writer born in 1919.
Does this next statement conjure an image in your mind?
“How clearly I saw what he had become! A man who so loved religiosity that he traded his ethical responsibilities for the brightness of that love.”3 – Arkady Martine
Arkady Martine is not a poet or a philosopher, but another science fiction writer.
“Vanity manifests itself in overseriousness. To the vain, the trivialities of this world are of momentous importance. Everything that happens to a vain person is terribly important.”4
– Eric Hoffer, a dockworker
“It’s steel country, anthracite country, a place full of holes. Smokestacks fume and locomotives trundle back and forth on elevated conduits and leafless trees stand atop slag heaps like skeleton hands shoved up from the underworld.”5
– Anthony Doerr, a novelist
Poetry is not limited to poets. When you say more, in fewer words, you are being poetic.
Most people avoid poetry because they feel it to be sissy, elitist, and irrelevant. After all, who wants to say more in fewer words?
Every advertiser on the planet, that’s who.
Poetic statements jump over the wall of the intellect to land on the softest parts of the heart.
And if you win the heart, the mind will follow. The mind will always create logic to justify what the heart has already decided.
Transactional writing wins the mind.
Relational writing wins the heart.
Transactional writing is about features and benefits.
Relational writing is about identity reinforcement.
Learn to say more in fewer words.
- People will pay close attention when you speak.
- Your ads will produce miraculous results.
- Your meetings will be shorter and more productive.
- You will be widely admired, much remembered, and often quoted.
In the 6th chapter of Matthew’s Good News, Jesus tells his followers not to include mindless repetition in their prayers. God doesn’t need filler words, and he doesn’t need us to repeat ourselves in order to be heard.
That’s right, God doesn’t need filler words.
And neither do the rest of us.
Roy H. Williams
1The Annals of the Heechee, p. 91
2 The Other End of Time, chap. 15
3A Desolation Called Peace, p. 269
4Working and Thinking on the Waterfront, p.95
5All the Light We Cannot See, p. 24
He started with $200,000 in 2018. Today it is $200,000,000. You can do it, too. Bronson Hill heard Warren Buffet say that people will work the rest of their lives if they don’t find a way to make money while they sleep. This week, Bronson reveals to roving reporter Rotbart his successful strategies for passive investment in real estate. You can always count on our roving Reporter to seek out interesting people with fascinating stories for you to hear at MondayMorningRadio.com.