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Be implicit.

Poetry doess not have to be an explicit exercise in communication. Many things in poetry are veiled, alluded to, or masked. This is also true of other art forms. It used to be true in the movies in the supposedly bad old days of the Hayes office. But did you really need to see Rick and Ilsa doing the wild thing to know something had gone on? Wasn’t it enough to cut to the huge phallic symbol of the light tower and then cut back to Humphrey Bogart straightening his cuffs? Another example of the implicit versus the explicit would be in older poems, such as Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” or Donne’s “To His Mistress Going to Bed.” These works are not the type of thing that Eminem would rap on his next album. They are more subtle.

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