Category: Writing Techniques
Ezra Pound on Language in Poetry
Use no superfluous word, no adjective which does not reveal something.
Don't use such an expression as "dim lands of peace." It dulls the image. It mixes an abstraction with the concrete. It comes from the writer's not realizing that the natural object is always the adequate symbol.
Go in fear of abstractions. Do not retell in mediocre verse what has already been done in good prose. Don't think any intelligent person is going to be deceived when you try to shirk all the difficulties of the unspeakably difficult art of good prose by chopping your composition into line lengths. . . .
Be influenced by as many great artists as you can, but have the decency either to acknowledge the debt outright, or to try to conceal it.
Use either no ornament or good ornament.
Don't imagine that a thing will "go" in verse just because it's too dull to go in prose.
When Shakespeare talks of the "Dawn in russet mantle clad" he presents something which the painter does not present. There is in this line of his nothing that one can call description; he presents.
Consider the way of the scientists rather than the way of an advertising agent for a new soap.
Ezra Pound "A Retrospect," in Literary Essays of Ezra Pound, © 1918, 1920, 1935 by Ezra Pound. Reprinted by New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Category: Creative Writing Techniques