Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Why Poetry Can Make You a Better Writer

Like most of my generation, I read poetry in English classes in high school. It wasn’t until I was a high school senior that I read poetry that stuck in my head. And it was T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “Four Quartets.” I read poetry in college as well, but my English literature professor gave brutal tests that put me off poetry for years. 

My professional career eventually led me to corporate speechwriting. I enjoyed the work, the executives I wrote for liked what I did, and I had that sense of “this is what I was meant to do.” It was a good friend, one who wasn’t a speechwriter, who suggested that if I were really serious about it, then I needed to read poetry. He sent me three books – the collected poems of T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Dylan Thomas. He told me to read them and others on a regular basis.


And I thought, seriously? No speechwriter I knew read poetry regularly. Most then and now would read books about current events, developments in science, politics, and a lot of speeches written by others. But poetry? Really?

To continue reading, please see my post today at the American Christian Fiction Writers blog.

Photograph by Nick Fewings via Unsplash. Used with permission.

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