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Poetry is an incredibly refined form of writing; every word is carefully considered, agonised over, every word must contribute to the poem's overall conceit. At the same time word choice must be imaginative, unusual, something that will pique the reader's interest.
Take for example, this poem by Spanish surrealist Federico García Lorca,
Landscape of a Vomiting Multitude. Whilst it is perhaps not the most lucid of poems, as far as its language is concerned it is a complete, surrealistic joyride:
Landscape of a Vomiting Multitude
The fat lady came out first,
tearing out roots and moistening drumskins.
The fat lady
who turns dying octopuses inside out.
The fat lady, the moon's antagonist,
was running through the streets and deserted buildings
and leaving tiny skulls of pigeons in the corners
and stirring up the furies of the last centuries' feasts
and summoning the demon of bread through the sky's clean-swept hills
and filtering a longing for light into subterranean tunnels.
The graveyards, yes the graveyards
and the sorrow of the kitchens buried in sand,
the dead, pheasants and apples of another era,
pushing it into our throat.
There were murmuring from the jungle of vomit
with the empty women, with hot wax children,
with fermented trees and tireless waiters
who serve platters of salt beneath harps of saliva.
There's no other way, my son, vomit! There's no other way.
It's not the vomit of hussars on the breasts of their whores,
nor the vomit of cats that inadvertently swallowed frogs,
but the dead who scratch with clay hands
on flint gates where clouds and desserts decay.
The fat lady came first
with the crowds from the ships, taverns, and parks.
Vomit was delicately shaking its drums
among a few little girls of blood
who were begging the moon for protection.
Who could imagine my sadness?
The look on my face was mine, but now isn't me,
the naked look on my face, trembling for alcohol
and launching incredible ships
through the anemones of the piers.
I protect myself with this look
that flows from waves where no dawn would go,
I, poet without arms, lost
in the vomiting multitude,
with no effusive horse to shear
the thick moss from my temples.
The fat lady went first
and the crowds kept looking for pharmacies
where the bitter tropics could be found.
Only when a flag went up and the first dogs arrived
did the entire city rush to the railings of the boardwalk.
Throughout the poem Lorca surprises us with his choice of words and descriptive phrases, 'The fat lady / who turns dying octopuses inside out', 'with the empty women / with hot wax children'. We are left unsettled, perhaps a little unsure of what to make of the poem, but most importantly, we are interested. Thanks to his artful use of language we are never sure where Lorca is taking us, and this is what keeps us interested.
Clients usually provide stringent brand and stylistic briefs within which a copywriter must operate if they are to create satisfactory web copy. It is therefore up to the copywriter to take these briefs and twist them, use them imaginatively to create interesting and original copy with the power to improve the stickiness of a web page and drive conversions.
Working within the confines of keyword research and brand brief, the copywriter is required to write content that uses language imaginatively and interestingly, whether this means using a conversational tone or slang (where appropriate), seamlessly working core brand values into a page of content or livening up stuffy legal copy with occasional use of unusual phraseology.
So What Can We Learn from Poets' use of Imaginative Language?
Poets' use of language demonstrates ways to break the rules of language without sacrificing an overall conceit. Therefore, if it is a copywriter's aim to sell an apartment in a city centre, they should be able to use language imaginatively to do this, rather than relying on tired old marketing and advertising clichés.
Imaginative language is more interesting for the reader and the copywriter, and has the potential to help clients' sites stand out in even the most competitive of SERPs.