How Poetry Translates into Great Copywriting

Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)

There’s a chauvinism in our society that says act first, think later—if at all. Against this action hero backdrop, poets are seen as flighty, dreamy…emotional. Either our brains live in space, or there’s too much space up there, say the movers and shakers. As a poet, I think that, too, especially right after I’ve stepped off a curb and into the path of, yikes!, oncoming NYC traffic.

And yet poets make ideal candidates for the cinematic art of commercial copywriting. To wit:

1. We think associatively, in leaps that align with logic, then follow its (sometimes) treacherous path.

2. We hoard metaphors like shelves of dried Ramen. Our brains are a wordsmith’s grocery, stocking juicy, aromatic analogies to hit your readers harder than a sucker punch—and more memorably.

3. To paraphrase Emily Dickenson, “we tell all the truth, but tell it slant.” We look at your business holistically, then find its most persuasive angles.

4. If your copy project
has limits, we’re used
to tight wordcounts
spun in potent verse.

5. For poets, the written word is a collision of images, and a consequence of breaths, pauses, white space. Silence isn’t simply golden; it’s the poet’s samurai sword.

6. We’re always writing something in our heads. A street hazard? Sure. But our preoccupation is to your advantage.

7. We’re notorious revisionists. We’ll craft your copy and burnish it to a gleaming finish—then go further.

If you think poets belong in coffeehouses and metaphors are better left in high school English classrooms, think again. And give us a shout.

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Jean Tang

A champion of high-end content, Jean is a living tribute to copywriting for humans. In 2012, at a TEDx talk, she declared her now widely viewed “War Against Bland.” The visionary founder of MarketSmiths, Jean leads her growing team to captivate, inspire, and motivate readers. She has helped thousands of global clients generate revenue from words (up to 12,000% ROI), and transformed the writing of hundreds of seminar attendees at the SXSW Interactive Festival (2014 and 2015), SXSW V2V (2014), the Small Business Summit (2014, NYC), and other venues.

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