One day when she and I were discussing a poem of mine, she told me that it is usually a good idea to try and add as many layers of meaning as possible into a poem. That way, she said, things are more interesting and the poem is automatically richer.
So, for example, if you have two similar words to choose from, but one of the words gives a double meaning, opt for that one. The finished product, she felt, will be all the better for it.
Below is a great illustration of what Proessor Neville was talking about, I think. It's lyrics from the Linkin Park song "The Messanger." The lyrics are pretty straightfoward, but thanks to the way things are phrased, we can interpret one particular line in several ways, and that adds to the overall richness of the text.
So without further ado, the lyrics:
When you feel you're alone, cut off from this cruel world
Your instincts telling you to run
Listen to your heart, those angel voices
They'll sing to you, they'll be your guide back home
Did you see it?
"Listen to your heart, those angel voices."
That was the line. You can look at that line in two ways: "Listen to your heart and those angel voices" or "Listen to your heart, which are your angel voices."
More layers, more meaning. Thanks, Ms. Neville.