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Posts tagged ‘Voltaire’

Using poetry to enrich your prose

French writer and philosopher Voltaire wrote that poetry is the music of the soul. He also said, “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”

Besides being an end in itself, poetry also helps me dream up ideas for the novel I’m writing.

Some people create storyboards or collages to help them brainstorm. I’ve done this but, recently, I wanted to delve deeper into an idea I was developing so I decided to write a poem about it.

Poetry is all about getting the right words in the right combination in a small space (well, at least smaller than a novel). Poetry is about condensing details and sense impressions, and using metaphor to evoke an emotional response in our readers. When I write poetry, it forces me to go deeper into my subject and think of it in new ways. I can relate to what Voltaire said because poetry becomes an echo that stirs up images and ideas on the periphery of my original idea or thought that I may not have otherwise seen. Read more