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Posts tagged ‘imagery’

Saying more by writing less

Oh, how we writers love the words! We love to be articulate, verbose, expressive, picturesque, grandiloquent (yes, that is a real word), and any other host of words that describe the propensity we sometimes have in our writing to say more than we really need to (just reread the above sentence). The thesaurus becomes our trusted ally in the search for all the right words, when so many times we can say something so simply, so sparingly as to evoke a picture in the reader’s mind that would be muddled up by too many words. Take for instance the famous short, short, short story by Ernest Hemingway, using only six words: For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn. This is a great example of why Hemingway is considered such a gifted writer – what genius! No more needs to be said; the context of those six words speaks volumes, and conjures up images to be woven into a much longer story. My favorite poem of all time is only six lines long:


by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

And a rich, full picture is painted, in so few words. No more needs to be said, it would only make it garish and cluttered. For a time I played with different forms of poetry, to get out of a rut. I wrote some haiku, happy to limit myself to three lines of  poetry governed by certain syllabic rules. I also tried acrostic poems, as more of a writing exercise of sorts, but it got me to think about writing in a different manner. And although I sing the praises of “less is more”, I still find that I love to be a bit overly descriptive when I write – and I shake hands once more with my old friend, my trusty thesaurus.

Shadow of a leaf

Falling down to touch the ground

Final place to rest

Something in our


Allows us to


Inside and

Never forget to

Give to one another

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