“Such a small, pure object a poem could be, made of nothing but air, a string of tiny letters, maybe small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. But it could blow everybody’s head off.”—Mary Karr (via childoflust)
Poetry. Smallest effective sometimes lethal tool in the wordsmith arsenal since forever.
I fell utterly in love by the end of this interview. It’s worth the read if you’re at all interested in any of the following: writing, philosophy, women’s issues, social issues, literature, the Paris art and writing scene
When we assume that boys won’t read books with girls on the cover, and then institutionalize that assumption by leaving the “girlie” books out of award nominations (as well as school wide reads, story times, etc.), we insult them. By suggesting that on the whole our boys have a limited capacity for empathy, an inability to imagine a world beyond their own most obvious understanding, and an unwillingness to stretch.
In the same stroke, we neglect our girls. Not because they can’t read “boy books” (they do and will). But because when they see those awards, they also learn something —to accept a world in which they are rarely the central players. They learn, at a formative age, that the “best” books are the ones about boys.
It’s a problem. And when we play into it, when we accept it as THE TRUTH, we’re reaching for the simplest solution, not the best one. Because the best solution would require us to push against the gender bias in the world, and in ourselves. It’s easier to say, “Boys naturally gravitate to these things, and we want them to read, don’t we?” - Laurel Snyder
“It seems to me that the desire to make art produces an ongoing experience of longing, a restlessness sometimes, but not inevitably, played out romantically, or sexually. Always there seems something ahead, the next poem or story, visible, at least, apprehensible, but unreachable. To perceive it at all is to be haunted by it; some sound, some tone, becomes a torment – the poem embodying that sound seems to exist somewhere already finished. It’s like a lighthouse, except that, as one swims towards it, it backs away.”—
Louise Glück, Proofs & Theories: Essays on Poetry (with thanks to Whiskey River)
I love Louis Glück’s poetry, especially The Wild Iris, and I think she captures something important about the creative spirit here that can be applied to all creative endeavors whether it’s art, music, literature.