Goodreads Quote of the Day for today:
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet black bough.
October 30, 1885: Though Ezra Pound wrote some epic poems, he is also well known for the two-line work, In a Station of the Metro. In its first incarnation, the poem was 30 lines. Later, he reduced it to 15. Finally, a year later, he boiled it down to these 14 words.
I love the idea of taking a work from 30 lines down to 14 words. It shows attention to detail and cutting out the extraneous and unnecessary.
I had heard of this poem many years ago and I think of it occasionally when I’m in some public place and there are lots of umbrellas (petals) in evidence. Another reason to appreciate this poem, because it calls up an image.
One of the most effective techniques: Kill your Adjectives (from Mark Twain). Don’t say “really smart,” just say “smart.” Or, better yet, SDT (show don’t tell) this person’s intelligence.
One of my favorite quotes, again from Mark Twain:
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
As I worked on this post, I found myself paying attention to how much I was writing and how I could shorten. So I’ll just quit by saying, “Write less to write better.”
- Remembering Ezra Pound: October 30, 1885 to November 1, 1972 (therebel.org)
- Pound and Joyce: It’s the Little Things (engl2523.wordpress.com)
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