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Screenshot 2015-12-02 14.09.12Writing is a skill, but not one confined to the world of academia. Many forms of literature are available to provide the writer with different challenges and opportunities to express themselves. In “Dense Writer” Jenny Knight compares the rigor of academic thesis to the comparative freedom of poetry. The dilemma, a 2007 study cited in Smithsonian.com concluded that “half of academic papers are read only by their authors and journal editors” (Eveleth, 2014).

The ultimate skill in writing is getting someone to read what you write and for it to have an effect on how they perceive the world and their actions. Writing should be as accessible as Jenny’s poem is. Consider Jenny’s words and then consider writing a poem to express how you feel, and get it read here and now.

Listen to a narrator

Dense writer
(The dilemma of writing for academia)
My writing is dense
It will only make sense
With deep concentration
And justification
For all I have said
Based on what I have read
In the books on the floor
And the articles for
The clever ones, who
Take a stand, have a view.

Do I have any views?
Will they come if I muse?
Cogitate, ruminate
Complicate, obfuscate
Come up with some data
Statistics, for later
Some numbers, a chart
For taking apart
In pursuit of a notion,
A thesis, promotion.

Of ideas, a theory
No matter how dreary
My head aches with thinking
My spirit is sinking
I know how it goes
Because everyone knows
Something more, something new
So whatever I do
It will not be enough
I’ll have left out some stuff.

Wash the floor? Make a cake?
Have a strategic break?
No! Stay glued to the screen
Just don’t say what I mean
Dress it up, make words long
They can’t tell me I’m wrong
If I elaborate
Make it so intricate
Inaccessible prose
To get right up his nose.

The reviewer, that is
I’ll get him in a tizz
As I reach for the skies
Hypothesis-wise
My conclusions cut deep
Review them and weep:
If we write in this way
Having something to say
It will never be read
Write a poem, instead.

(Jenny Knight 2012)

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More people are writing and thinking about work based poetry. Does this poem make you think of anything? Send your thoughts to editor@organisationalpoetry.co.uk

Please do send a poem you’ve written or one you like and we’ll share it with other OP readers.


Image: Paining by Pablo Picasso ‘Claude Writing’

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