Cliches

My Poetic Pet Peeve

Now, the title might be misleading, because I do like poetry. But there are elements of poetry I see everyday in the WordPress poetry tag that drive me crazy.

The main culprit: clichés.

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An overwhelming abundance of them. Here is some of the most popular clichés never to be used in poetry if you want to keep your head.

  • A dark and stormy night
  • A pain in the neck
  • Against all odds
  • Busy as a bee
  • Cat got your tongue
  • Cry like a baby
  • Every fibre of my being
  • An eye for an eye
  • Free as a bird
  • Hold your horses
  • In the nick of time
  • Mark my words
  • No stone unturned
  • Playing with fire
  • Quick as lightning
  • Rings a bell
  • Scared to death
  • Sealed a kiss
  • Snug as a bug in a rug
  • Start from scratch
  • Tip of the iceberg
  • Two peas in a pod
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover
  • Love is blind
  • Better safe than sorry

I must admit that I’ve been a practitioner of clichés like these in my own poetry. I guess that makes me a hypocrite. You might remember me showing you some of my poetry from three years ago, in this post, in which I used clichés like “our lives flowing like a breeze” and “tears escaped my eyes”.

The reason why literary enthusiasts detest clichés so much is because of the rate of “usage”. The phrases lose their effect over time because we hear them so often. There’s an infinite number of ways we could portray ideas like the aforementioned clichés (i.e tears escaped my eyes, our lives flowing like the breeze), and instead many of us resort to stealing phrases which, upon initially being coined, seemed clever.

Have you got any artistic pet peeves that really get you going?

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3 thoughts on “My Poetic Pet Peeve

  1. Thank you for liking “Sunset Reflections.” Your post made me laugh. I have probably used these cliches in my writing before too, and I am trying my best to avoid using them now that I am aware of them. In recent years, the overused phrase that I dislike the most is baby bump. When I think of a bump, I think of bruising or some kind of swelling infection or injury. I do not want to associate those things with a new human life.

    Liked by 1 person

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