Functional Language

There is a kind of language that is clearly unsuitable when one is writing a poem. I call it informational language. It is the language one would use if one were writing a paragraph on how to operate a can opener. It is a language that means to be crisp and accurate. Its words are exact. They do not ever desire to throw two shadows. The language is cold. It does not reach for any territory beyond the functional.

Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry

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