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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    Roy Peter Clark

    Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty member, dean, vice-president, and senior scholar.


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