The Less the More

“Cotton bales are the fleecy way

Weary sinner’s bare feet trod,

Softly, softly to the throne of God,

’We ain’t agwine t wait until th Judgement Day!’”

– Toomer’s Cane, “Cotton Song”

This shows an obvious poetic form, which is present through the whole piece but the composition really hammers this in, allowing description to become poetic in a way that isn’t too descriptive. While there’s less description, there are still word choices that characterize in a powerful way


Attention to character detail

Hammett, Maltese Falcon

“She was a lanky sunburned girl whose tan dress of thin wool clung to her with an effect of dampness. Her eyes were brown and playful in a shiny boyish face…” (1)

“The lieutenant was a compactly built man with a rounded head under short-cut grizzled hair and a square face behind a short-cut grizzled mustache…” (17)