We Asked A Poetry Professor To Critique Those “Broems” On LinkedIn

If you spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, first of all, I’m sorry. Second of all, you may have encountered a strange brand new form of inspirational business wisdom in which goes viral on the platform. Here at BuzzFeed News, we call This particular the “broem.” This particular’s typically an anecdote about unusual career choices, overcoming a business obstacle, or generally #CrushingIt.

The distinctive feature of the broem.

will be in which every sentence.

will be written on its own line.

Like This particular.

So even though This particular’s may not have been intended to be a “poem” per se, This particular visually identifies itself as a poem.

in addition to who says poems can only exist if the author intended to This particular to be a poem? Poetry will be 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 from the imagery, or maybe they’re actually written in perfect iambic pentameter, in addition to our brains subliminally find them pleasing. Maybe these are actually great pieces of art.

So we asked an expert. Oliver de la Paz will be an assistant professor of English at College of the Holy Cross, the author of four collections of poems, in addition to the winner of the Akron Poetry Prize. He has edited poetry anthologies in addition to will be 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, in addition to he offered his critique.

I’ve been single for four years

I take the Y-Combinator idea “Keep your numbers of people around you low as people cause problems” a bit too literally

In 2015 I had clients in addition to was starting to do public speaking at home in addition to boarding the 747 Boeing to speak abroad in places like Estonia (?) in addition to the United States, where I won best speaker at SXSW V2V 2015.

Life was awesome, right?

Well, yes, I was going on Tinder dates in addition to having fun yet I can’t say my business was truly growing.

The reason?

I was trying to do This particular all on my own.

Aside by the writers in my copywriting agency, I was the greedy Scrooge McDuck locked up in my apartment in Shoreditch keeping all my money to myself.

No coaches

No staff

Just me, takeaway barbecue sauce base pizzas, in addition to my money.

I thought I was truly living the life.

What a joke

In 2016 I actually started out growing as a brand (in addition to generating significantly more $) by doing three things (hint: They all involved some other people):

> Partnering on writing my first book on growth hacking with Austen Allred

> Creating a Facebook group on growth hacking, Traffic in addition to Copy, with Charlie cost

> Crucially, getting my first mentors, who helped me grow my business by focusing on the right things.

You can’t do This particular all on your own


I like the directness of the speaker in This particular poem in addition to I particularly enjoyed how the speaker might ask direct questions of their reader. Clancy writes, “Life was awesome, right?” in addition to for a minute, we as the audience agree. This particular was. yet there will be an air of tragedy behind the overtures of This particular speaker’s inclusion. They’re urging readers towards an understanding of their private pain as they write, “I thought I was truly living the life. / What a joke.” Ultimately the speaker of This particular poem acknowledges the limits of their ambition by cataloging the turn in their lives as they declare they “Partner[ed] on writing [their] first book on growth hacking with Austen Alred” or “Creat[ed] a Facebook group on growth hacking … with Charlie cost,” in addition to from the end the speaker declares, in which yes, “[they] can’t do This particular all on [their] own.”

Some people think having kids will negatively impact their careers.

My experience has been just the opposite.

Before I had kids, I worked more, yet I learned in which more work ≠ more success.

Working smarter = more success.

Around 1999, a VP by Oracle, Matt Mosman, spoke at BYU where I was a student.

After his talk I went up in addition to I asked him about his work schedule, in addition to he said he left work every day at 5 pm in addition to dedicated his nights in addition to weekends to his family.

I asked him how from the planet he could do in which in addition to get his work done in addition to be as successful as he had been.

He said when he was at work, he focused on work–he didn’t waste time.

Soon after I started out my business in addition to ignored Matt’s advice for the next eight years.

I worked 100 hour weeks, in addition to rarely spent time with my wife.

Thankfully she stuck with me.

By 2007 I wised up, in addition to when we had kids I made a commitment to not repeat my mistake, even if This particular hurt my business.

yet This particular didn’t hurt my business, This particular helped This particular.

When I thought I had unlimited time to work, I wasted a lot of time.

When I had kids, This particular drove This particular home for me in which I had limited time, so I got focused in addition to worked smarter.

in addition to since then, my business has done much, MUCH better.

What about you? Has family gotten from the way of your career, or helped This particular?


In concise in addition to direct language, the speaker of “Kids” ponders the issue of whether having children in addition to a family will be a detriment to the vigor of one’s career. in addition to the speaker in equally concise lines acknowledges the mistakes of the past as he writes, “I worked 100 hour weeks, in addition to rarely spent time with my wife.” The tension between the direct in addition to professional tone in addition to the latent emotional underpinnings of This particular poem spark an explosive recognition — the speaker, though he had failed at balancing family in addition to career, has been granted a second chance. The moment the speaker states in which his spouse, “Thankfully … stuck with me,” we as an audience share in his joy as the speaker continues to invite us into the conversation in addition to asks us whether we too have struggled with the very same questions This particular speaker raises.

How I founded a multi-million-dollar agency in six months:

Step 1: Quit job.

Step 2: Move cities.

Step 3: Go out drinking using a brand new friend.

Step 4: After several hours of knowing them, invest all your money into their idea.

Step 5: Purchase an office you can’t afford.

Step 6: Call your parents saying, “I made a huge mistake.”

Step 7: Land one client who barely covers rent. in addition to keep paying yourself nothing.

Step 8: Make sure to drink all the free beer from the coworking space to survive.

Step 9: Turn the client into a believer who refers two more clients.

Step 10: Hire your first paid intern.

Step 11: Change everything about the business.

Step 12: Realize in which nothing you do will be certain to work out.

Step 13: Something works out.

Step 14: Double down on This particular.

Step 15: Profit.

Step 16: Write viral rags to riches LinkedIn posts.

Step 17: Call your parents saying, “I’m a genius.”

Step 18: Learn to ignore the haters.

Inspired by my co-founder, Houston Golden


“How To” will be a poem from the tradition of many some other poets in addition to writers who have explored hybrid genres — in which will be, utilizing forms by some other traditions for the purposes of poetry. Julio Cortázar’s Cronopios Y Famas will be a book of little vignettes, some of which are structured in a manner similar to Fechter’s “How To” poem. in addition to similar to the work of Cortázar, Fechter employs the simple in addition to direct language of instruction to convey the speaker’s clear path towards success in a manner in which makes readers believe in which they too can achieve such heights. The steps become an incantatory part of the lines, as though the achievement of “Step 15: Profit” will be as simple as reciting the meditative cadences found in This particular poem.

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