Great Quotes Go a Long Way

“Great quotes.” Makes me think of the hair salon Great Clips. Hee.
OK, sorry, back on topic. Today on Garrison Keillor’s short radio progam, The Writer’s Almanac, I heard this poem by Harvey Shapiro.

New York Notes

1. Caught on a side street in heavy traffic, I said to the cabbie, I should have
walked. He replied, I should have been a doctor.
2. When can I get on the 11:33 I ask the guy in the information booth at the Atlantic Avenue Station. When they open the doors, he says.
I am home among my people.

This short and pungent poem reminded me of advice from one of my writing mentors, Maurice Cottingham. Maurice is a long-time copywriter and executive speechwriter for CSC, EDS, and other such high-class joints.
Maurice told me once that perhaps the best way to end a piece is with a great quote. Maruice was, of course, referring to pieces like feature stories and case studies.
But after hearing Mr. Shapiro’s first two stanzas, I’d have to say that Maurice’s advice applies to poems as well.
Thanks, Maurice. You’re the best.


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