Essay by maf320University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2003

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There are two types of poetry writing. One is writing for yourself, the type of writing that you do when your dad hits you or your girlfriend breaks up with you or you're trying to come to grips with the fact that you think you're gay. It's the kind of writing that you do for you, you're the only one meant to see it, and it eventually gets tucked in a box in the bottom of your closet to be forgotten.

The other type of writing is when you write for an audience, when you want to make a point, when you want to get published. And then your work suddenly becomes very important, because it can be interpreted in many ways. Wouldn't want anyone to think the wrong things, so you have to be careful with your word choice.

The easiest and probably best way to do this is to avoid explaining emotion. Explain everything in the scene to depict the emotion, and the reader will feel the feeling without having to be told what the emotion is. The emotion will be self-evident. It will be so self-evident, in fact, that the reader can't avoid it. They couldn't escape it if they wanted to. You have to set a scene and be as concrete in your description as possible so the reader can feel the wood finish on the bench at the church, or they can smell the glass cleaner from the window they're reading about leaning on. When the reader is forced to feel the images in the writing, then it suddenly becomes strong, it pulls them into the story, kicking and screaming.

And that's often frightening, because it seems so real.

The easiest way to describe a scene with such vividness is to not...