When I write, I often use words like knickknacks, cluttering up the truth of what I’m trying to say. The first person to point this out to me was my literary journalism professor. When I wrote my first paper for his class, I stuffed it with adjectives and metaphors. My professor gave me a decent grade but wrote across the top: “This is all sounds very nice, but what’s the point?” Whenever I write, I replay this question in my mind. I don’t want to substitute style for substance or trick myself into thinking that flowery language is an end instead of a means. I think that’s why I like today’s poem. It’s spare, but powerful. Click here to read “1950” by Bruce Dethlefsen.