The wisdom of Thomas Jefferson
“The most valuable of all talents is that of
never using two words
when one will do.”
Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
3rd President of the United States
He was a Republican when it was rather democratic to be a Republican.
The historical record doesn’t really suggest that Jefferson was as tight-lipped as this maxim implies.
Perhaps it would be more meaningful for ordinary folks like us if he had said something like “don’t use 38 words when a few of them, well-chosen, will do the job.”
Furthermore, let’s keep in mind the contemplative observation by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) that praiseworthy prose and poetry — and in general, talking — has a lot to do with using “the right words.”
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2017 All rights reserved.
I have a love affair with words. I mean carefully chosen words, words that express in exceptional ways the boundless variety of our thoughts, experiences, and emotions. I think a lot about life, the human condition, loving relationships with others, and the many levels of beauty, serenity and delight in our natural environment. It’s stimulating to read the pithy words of real wordsmiths. I offer my reflections on their wonderful work.
I offer these: my poetry in free verse and 5–7–5 format, written in a way that makes it possible for you to know, as precisely as possible, what’s going on in my mind and in my imagination; thoughtful book reviews that offer some exceptional critique of the book instead of a simple book summary; examinations of history that did and didn’t happen; examples of my love affair with words; reflections on the quotations, art, and wisdom of famous and not-so-famous people, and occasional comments on politics and human nature.
Your comments on my poems, book reviews and other posts are welcome.
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Originally published at Richard Subber.