This post is about articulating my thoughts on this subject and to make this even more comprehensive I would greatly value your input, opinion and ideas on the topic? And if you feel inclined I’d prefer that you add your list of ‘Great Wordsmiths’ … please join my discussion by posting on the topic and linking it back here.
‘Wordsmith’ means “a skilled user of words”. A “Great Wordsmith” means much more …
There are many talented authors and poets I’d consider to be wordsmiths, but to me a ‘great wordsmith’ is bigger than that again.
It is someone with a comprehensive command of their language who uses that incredible talent to communicate their point of view, their passion. These are often not aligned with mainstream views and in my mind that makes them ‘activists’.
And activists are not only environmentalists, they include all manner of subjects like politics, humanity, social consciousness, trending issues and so much more. Some may focus solely on one topic but for the most part they will have comprehensive views or opinions about various facets of many things. A deep thinker who observes and debates all facets of life then fluidly articulates it.
Google it and see what your search engine reveals … one blogger made a comprehensive list that she called ‘wordsmiths’ but to my eye it seemed like a list of great authors. A great author requires many talents such as developing characters, a story flow, setting the scene and then weave dialogue and other writing skills to achieve this. Just as a talented ‘great’ poet may use various styles or formats of poetry to convey their POV but they don’t frequently register on the wordsmith barometer.
In that they certainly have flashes of skilful language use but their talent lies more in the formal format or the conveying of the storyline. Some have a flashy use of language that the average reader struggles to comprehend. But a ‘Great Wordsmith’ frequently registers on that wordsmith barometer, they entertain and challenge, they evoke deep emotions or thought. They are fluid in language and their thinking enabling the average person to readily comprehend.
Those on my list are not prone to grandstanding or openly seeking fame and fortune. They tend to be humble, confident and painfully honest, ready to defend their POV but more peace-lovers than fighters. Accepting that they cannot change hearts/minds but will continue to challenge them. They wish to leave the world a better place and have faith that humanity can save itself eventually even after all the mistakes we’ve made. They take a stronger ethical stance beyond mere entertainment.
So for me a ‘great’ wordsmith involves masterful use of language to challenge the norm or status quo. They don’t feed into ego or ‘accepted’ ideas. They have a passion to challenge, confront, convey, and communicate; to make us think in an entertaining but easy fluid manner.
This list is in alphabetical order from an English POV as I suffer a language deficit –
Philip Adams; Charles Dickens; Benjamin Disraeli; Amanda Gorman; Hermann Hesse; Jules and Punam, WP; Martin Luther King; Tim Minchin; George Orwell; Rumi; Mark Twain
This is an additional list of possible contenders but admit that I have not yet read their work …
Margaret Atwood; Lawrence Ferlinghetti; Zara Hurston; Helen McDonald; Terry Pratchett; Erich Maria Remarque
What say you?