Photo by Lisa Murray // CC
Photo by Lisa Murray // CC

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.

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2 thoughts on “1950

  1. Love that advice from your professor and he makes a great point. I had an amazing high school English teacher who once told me never to use the phrase “I think” – anywhere – because if you’re saying it, it’s apparent that you’re thinking it. Not the same thing, but I remember it every time I write anything, from emails to blog posts.

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