Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
What Can Prose Writers Learn From Poets?
Poets and prose writers often receive different "instructions" on how to write well, and are encouraged to read widely in their own genre, but I would suggest that prose writers can vastly improve their craft by turning to poetry. Poets focus on imagery and concision – two tools that make immensely better prose writing too. Of course, these tools aren’t used in the same way, but reading and even writing poetry can strengthen a prose writer’s ability. Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar is a perfect example of this. Plath is best known as a poet, but her novel is unparalleled. While reading it, I was struck by the poetic use of language and economy of words (why use twenty when you could use five?). What other ways can prose writers improve from reading/writing poetry?