Sunday, April 24, 2022

Wise words


Thoughts on Art from creative people born April 25:

from British poet, fiction writer, playwright, and editor Walter de la Mare (Songs of Childhood, Poems, Memoirs of a Midget, Crossings, Come Hither, Collected Stories for Children) (1873-1956):

That is one of the pleasures of reading—you may make any picture out of words you can and will; and a poem may have as many different meanings as there are different minds.

All day long the door of the sub-conscious remains just ajar; we slip through to the other side, and return again, as easily and secretly as a cat.


from American author Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy-Tacey novel series) (1892-1980):

Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.

Isn't it mysterious to begin a new journal like this? I can run my fingers through the fresh clean pages but I cannot guess what the writing on them will be.

I cannot remember back to a year in which I did not consider myself to be a writer, and the younger I was the bigger that capital "W."


from Spanish novelist Corín Tellado ((Boda clandestina, Incomprensión, Lucha Oculta, La Novia viuda, Desde el Corazon, El Testamento); wrote more than 4,000 books (1927-2009):

I'm not a romantic or write romance novels. I am positive and sensitive, and I write novels of feelings, which is not the same. For me, the novel can be sentimental, it does not bother me that I am pigeonholed in the pink novel, but it is evident that many ignore that the pink denomination comes from when the covers of the novel were of that color. Love never goes out of style and although my novels may resemble each other, they are all different. Heartbreak is what is most present in them.

To insinuate he taught me censorship, because he said things clearly and that was rejected. There were months that I was rejected up to 4 novels. Some novels came with so many underlines that there was hardly any black handwriting left. I was taught to insinuate, to suggest rather than to show. I learned to tell the same thing but with subtlety, so I never left anything to say.

I have sacrificed my life to literature. I hurt myself. But I will stop writing, when my head falls on the machine. I don't give up.


from American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author J. Anthony Lukas (“The Two Worlds of Linda Fitzpatrick,” Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families) (1933-1997):

All writers, I think, are to one extent or another, damaged people. Writing is our way of repairing ourselves.

I firmly believe that any good journalist must essentially be temperamentally an outsider. I don't think full sense of belonging and security is conducive to creativity.

If the noun is good and the verb is strong, you almost never need an adjective.


from American Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Laureate Ted Kooser (Delights & Shadows); also noted for Sure Signs, One World at a Time, Weather Central, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry, House Held Up By Trees) (b. 1939):

The poem is the device through which the ordinary world is seen in a new way—engaging, compelling, even beautiful.

There are mornings when everything brims with promise, even my empty cup.

There's nothing wrong with delighting in what you do. In fact, most of the fun you'll have as a poet will come about during the process of writing.

a happy birthday this evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness. I could easily have switched on a lamp, but I wanted to ride the day down into night, to sit alone, and smooth the unreadable page with the pale gray ghost of my hand

If I don't take the risk, I'll wind up with a bloodless poem. I have to be out there on the edge.


from English poet and journalist James Martin Fenton (Terminal Moraine, A Vacant Possession, The Memory of War, Children in Exile: Poems 1968-1984, All the Wrong Places: Adrift in the Politics of the Pacific Rim, Manilla Envelope, Out of Danger) (b. 1949):

The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.

Imitation, if it is not forgery, is a fine thing. It stems from a generous impulse, and a realistic sense of what can and cannot be done.

My feeling is that poetry will wither on the vine if you don't regularly come back to the simplest fundamentals of the poem: rhythm, rhyme, simple subjects—love, death, war.

A poem with grandly conceived and executed stanzas, such as one of Keats's odes, should be like an enfilade of rooms in a palace: one proceeds, with eager anticipation, from room to room.

I don't see that a single line can constitute a stanza, although it can constitute a whole poem.

For poets today or in any age, the choice is not between freedom on the one hand and abstruse French forms on the other. The choice is between the nullity and vanity of our first efforts, and the developing of a sense of idiom, form, structure, metre, rhythm, line—all the fundamental characteristics of this verbal art.

An aria in an opera—Handel's 'Ombra mai fu,' for example—gets along with an incredibly small number of words and ideas and a large amount of variation and repetition. That's the beauty of it. It's not taxing to the listener's intelligence because if you haven't heard it the first time round, it'll come around again.


from American novelist and memoirist Darcey Steinke (Up Through the Water, Suicide Blonde, Jesus Saves, Milk, Sister Golden Hair, Easter Everywhere) (b. 1962):

When you write you have to reside in the unknown for as long as possible.


from American novelist Seth King (The Summer Remains, All We Ever Wanted) (b. 1989):

If eyes are windows into the soul, books are rabbit holes into the imagination.

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