|The Soul of Words
|Here is an example of how surprising events can happen as we love and
care for the words we use. William Stafford is an American poet
who died recently .He left to us a way of handling words.
Words have a way of finding us.
On the Writing of Poetry
A writer is not so much someone who has something to say
as he is someone who has found a process that will bring about new things
he would not have thought of if he had started to say them.
That is, he does not draw on a reservoir; instead,
he engages in an activity that brings to him a whole succession
of unforeseen stories, poems, essays, plays, laws, philosophies, religions, or
Back in school, from the first when I began to try to write things,
I felt this richness. One thing would lead to another;
the world would give and give. Now, after twenty years or so of trying,
I live by that certain richness, an idea hard to pin,difficult to say,
and perhaps offensive to some. For there are strange implications in it.
One implication is the importance of just plain receptivity.
When I write, I like to have an interval before me
when I am not likely to be interrupted.
For me, this means usually the early morning,
before others are awake.
I get pen and paper, take a glance out of the window
(often it is dark out there), and wait.
It is like fishing. But I do not wait very long, for there is always a nibble---
and this is where receptivity comes in. To get started
I will accept anything that occurs to me.
Something always occurs, of course, to any of us.
We can't keep from thinking.
Maybe I have to settle for an immediate impression: it's cold, or hot,
or dark, or bright, or in between!
Or---well, the possibilities are endless.
If I put down something, that thing will help
the next thing come, and I'm off.
If I let the process go on, things will occur to me that were not all in my
mind when I started. These things, odd or trivial as they may be,
are somehow connected. And if I let them string out,
surprising things will happen.
I think that is how this web site got started. I just got an impression and
followed it along. One thing led to another.
And here I am.
Words have been leading me and I have been carrying them in my heart.
I really don't know what will happen next.
Words need my care too.
I hope I will be able to follow along and be receptive.
Well, of course, I will fail there too.
Words will keep finding me, though.
They are faithful, where I, at times, am faithless.
Life is a gift!
|Which is worth more,
a crowd of thousands,
or your own genuine solitude?
Freedom, or power over an entire nation.
A little while alone in your room
will prove more valuable than
anything else that could ever be given you.
I would rather live in a world where my life
is surrounded by mystery
than live in a world so small that my
mind could comprehend it.
Harry Emerson Fosdick