If you spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, first of all, I’m sorry. Second of all, you may have encountered a strange new form of inspirational business wisdom that goes viral on the platform. Here at BuzzFeed News, we call it the “broem.” It’s typically an anecdote about unusual career choices, overcoming a business obstacle, or generally #CrushingIt.
The distinctive feature of the broem.
Is that every sentence.
Is written on its own line.
So even though it’s may not have been intended to be a “poem” per se, it visually identifies itself as a poem.
And who says poems can only exist if the author intended to it to be a poem? Poetry is everywhere, right?
These broems can be shared thousands of times on LinkedIn – they clearly strike a chord with people. So maybe there’s something to them more than just business platitudes. Perhaps there’s some hidden elegance in the imagery, or maybe they’re actually written in perfect iambic pentameter, and our brains subliminally find them pleasing. Maybe these are actually great pieces of art.
So we asked an expert. Oliver de la Paz is an assistant professor of English at College of the Holy Cross, the author of four collections of poems, and the winner of the Akron Poetry Prize. He has edited poetry anthologies and is a chair on the board of Kundiman, an organization for promoting the works of Asian-American writers. BuzzFeed News sent three broems to de la Paz, and he offered his critique.
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