I love to take pictures of reflections. They are the two-fers of photography. For example, you can take one picture and capture buildings on opposite sides of the street. You also can get two pictures of the same objects in one frame, such as a tree and a tree standing on its head.
Some were written in the same Catholic school cursive.
The words spoke from the paper in distinctive voices,
heard with the heart
instead of the ears.
No matter how far the letters had traveled,
when they were read, the authors were
as close as the next sentence.
I read this poem at a reading at the Downtown Neon Gallery in Kansas City in January. I half jokingly asked the audience, "You do know what letters are, don't you?" I got the laugh I was seeking, but also some acknowledgement that my question wasn't that outrageous.
The letters Mother received from her sisters and sisters-in-law helped me get to know them and uncles and cousins, most of whom I saw only a few times in person. How many of you have read letters from your ancestors?
Letters written by prominent figures have allowed us to be privy to what they thought were private conversations. Here is a link to the first of the poet Ranier Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, that gives insights into his thoughts on writing.
Will blog posts, other social media posts or even emails reveal as much to future generations as letters have revealed to us? Are they as intimate? Do you have a favorite letter or collection of letters that has special meaning to you?
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I like to collect quotes on different topics. Things that resonate with me for various reasons. Of course, a number of the quotes I save pertain to writing. I decided to share 10 of those today:
...I write to keep in contact
with our ancestors and to spread truth to people. Sonia Sanchez
a poem waiting; it might be a really good one, and if you don’t get it down it’s
lost. Ruth Stone
I have never started a poem
yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering. Robert Frost
As soon as
coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move…similes
arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a
struggle. Honore de Balzac
For a long time now I have
tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write
better than I can. Ernest Hemingway
She was so much a writer that
she didn’t need to put the words on a page—the world was her paper. Isabel
Farhi about her grandmother Betty Friedan
I must write it
all out, at any cost. Writing is more than living, for it is being conscious of
living." Anne Morrow Lindbergh
An idea, like a
ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. Charles
If you read a great poem aloud--for example, “To
a Skylark” by Percy Bysshe Shelley--and read it the way he set it up and
punctuated it, what you are doing is breathing his inspired breath at the
moment he wrote that poem. That breath was so powerful it still can be awakened in us over 150 years later. Natalie
You need to know that your
poetry muscles can get bigger. Nikky Finney
Do you have a favorite quote about writing?
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