Brevities PDF Print E-mail
Bantu  How can we say more with less?  Less is more
In an instant-messaging world, we are learning that less
is often more .  I have a whole chapter on “brevities in Writing the Natural
Way, 2nd ed.

 Bantu is an African form.  It’s made up of two statements:
The first is concrete (touch taste see, feel, hear)
The second is abstract, general, often cliche-like.  The secret is not
to try too hard to make the “go” together. Here are a series of
Robin Rector Krupp's Bantu  which she wrote in less than four
minutes in a UCLA workshop in 1987.  She's a visual artist.  She
writes:
I wrote these Bantus after the class, thinking back on a
painful period of my marriage.  It seems like a
wonderful way to work through pain--repeating the
same phrases or generating different concret images of
the SAME problem.  There is something freeing in not
needing to write something perfect. . .  .  It feels like I'm
getting closer and closer to the truth, and the repetition
is soothing, bringing the reality home for me. . . .  .
 
TROUBLE
 
I went to counseling alone.
He never learned to trust.
 
I wrote letters to him, late, late at night.
These messages stuck in my throat for years.
 
I wrote letters to him in the night.
The postman of love hadn't delivered for years.
 
I cried myself to sleep.
Pain is hard to hear.
 
I wrote out lists of grievances.
Pain is hard to hear.
 
We argued in the night
One and One does not always make two.
 
We argued in the night.
Make love  not war.
 
He did not kiss me as he left.
He carries a briefcase of right and wrong.
 
. . . .. .   c  Robin Rector Krupp
 
There are many ways to create brevities, such as limiting your life
story to 8 or 10 or 20 words.  See how much you can pack in.