Advice from the Masters: Dylan Thomas

Oct 29, 2014 | Better Writing

This week we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. I went looking for a bit of writing wisdom of his to share with you. I didn’t want something from a poem or some unsourced snip from a quote site. I hunted for months.

Fortunately I found “DYLAN THOMAS, ‘A FEW WORDS OF A KIND‘” by Jason Kirin. “A Few Words of a Kind” comprises the remarks Thomas made to an audience at MIT in March, 1952. Jason transcribed them so you can read them all. I have. Several times. Here’s what I think is the core, especially if you don’t write poetry but do write for business.

“Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toenails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone and not alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.”

I think that’s a good definition of poetry. If it is, then the best business writing contains poetry.

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts

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