Tag Archives: show not tell

Show Not Tell

A young woman, of 20 or so
And a man, old enough to be her father,
Booked into a cheap, backstreet hotel.
You know
Very well, that the writer should show,
But would you rather
I tell?

“Attack” by Siegfried Sassoon, as read by Dame Helen Mirren

A powerful reading by Dame Hellen Mirren of Siegfried Sassoon’s poem “Attack”,

We authors/poets are often exhorted to “show not tell”. Sassoon’s poem does a lot of “telling” and does it extremely effectively. Indeed I am of the firm conviction that many of those who exhort we writers to “show not tell” can not hold a candle to Sassoon.