Are you fed up with all the cloying commercialism that nearly suffocates your brain at Valentine’s Day like an overstuffed down comforter? Do you really think your office friends want to live vicariously through someone else’s candy-apple-red dreams while they’re working hard to meet yet another grueling deadline?
I say it’s high time somebody pitched a little woo to business professionals with poetry. But I’m not talking about love poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her partner in elopement, Robert Browning. I’m talking about straight up, audacious poetry that ignites your entrepreneurial soul and illuminates your business ambitions. Are you ready? This week, it is not business as usual…
Emily Dickinson Minimized Her Words and Maximized Impact: Who says a shy, reclusive gal from Amherst, Massachusetts (circa 1800s) can’t get the job done? Miss Dickinson was the mistress of brevity who claimed that “her business was circumference.” While she didn’t gain fame until postmortem, she left behind a treasure trove of almost 1,800 poems. If ever you felt your professional goals were unattainable, read ‘I saw no Way – The Heavens were stitched’ for some powerful inspiration.
Carl Sandburg Forged Poems of Grit and Steel: I’ll guess some of you were forced to read Sandburg’s ‘Cool Tombs’ in at least one middle school or high school English class. It’s a wonderful poem, but there is another that is one of the greatest love notes to all office workers everywhere. The poem is long(ish) and yes, outdated, but when you’re ready to scale the heights, give ‘Skyscraper’ a try!
Langston Hughes Says Don’t Reverse the Charges: Sure, he was a social activist who wrote innovative jazz poetry about America. He also influenced the 1920s Harlem literary renaissance. But did you know that Langston Hughes had a great sense of humor? His poem ‘Madam and the Phone Bill’ interprets our universal desire to beat the system:
“You say I O.K.ed LONG DISTANCE? O.K.ed it when? My goodness, Central That was then!”
Yehuda Amichai Kept It Real, People: Call me ignorant, but I just discovered the very grounded and even business-like verse of Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. Don’t let any of his religious references dissuade you from reading his poems. Amichai was a secular poet who revealed the struggles of day-to-day life in his poetry with gentle touches of irony and humor. One of my new favorite poems is his ‘What Kind of a Person’. I challenge you to read this poem and not relate at all…
When you’re cocooned by your work, which poets and their bits of verse help you survive another grueling day of effort or entrepreneurship? What other words of wisdom provide you with comfort when you need a little business love or affection? Remember, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Unless your client is about to jump ship…
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (email@example.com) for a no-obligation project quote today!
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