What journalists, prose writers can learn from poetry

I have been reading more poetry lately, and not just because April was National Poetry Month. For reasons I can’t explain, I have not found poetry; rather it has re-discovered me. Perhaps the re-connection was a natural result of my search for good examples of short writing, stuff for my next book “How To Write Short.”

In any case, the result has been exhilarating. In learning from the work of Shakespeare, Frost, Eliot, Yeats, Dickinson and Plath — their themes, passions and failures — I’ve hit upon some writing techniques I can use in my prose every day.

Take, for example, the different effects created when I use short Anglo-Saxon words as opposed to their French-derived synonyms, as described in this essay.

In this week’s writing chat, we examined examples of short texts — poetry and prose — and derived strategies we can all apply to our writing.

You can replay the chat here:

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    Poetry writing prioritizes brevity and economy, something that writers of prose should be able to apply to their work.  Diction is also a big component in poetry and it encourages writers to choose the best words for their ideas.