Condensing the Words

compression of a written or spoken work into a more concise form.” Merriam-Webster

The water cycle wherein moisture in the atmosphere condenses into droplets of rain, dew, or fairy frost flowers on a cold window is known as condensation.

An analog of the water cycle exists in poetry where we condense a line by removing words that are unnecessary or redundant to the meaning and theme of the poem is also knows as Condensation.

How does that work, exactly? Let me use the previous statements in examples.


The Water Cycle

By M. Frank Darbe


Atmospheric moisture condenses

Rain’s drops,

Morning’s dew,

Winter’s steamy breath,

Fairy’s frosted windows

Nature’s Artworks


See what I did there? I condensed a somewhat dry sentence explaining the Water Cycle into a poem.


Water Cycle’s Analog

By M. Frank Darbe


Poet’s passion condenses

Word drop lines,

Morning’s passion,

Lover’s steamy breath,

Lipstick on wineglass

Emotion’s artistry.


Condensation is a poet’s tool used to create crisp images. We could fatten these brief poems with conjunctions. Using determiners like the, I, she, and others, I could expand the poem’s waistline and stretch out its seams. If I were to convert those poems into a line of prose, those words would be necessary. The strict rules of grammar are not needed for a poem.

Poetry, in most cases, is not prose. If you can make the images created by your work sing without unnecessary words, then exile them to Webster’s darkest realms.

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