Monday, December 10, 2007

Good writing

A forum I visit is having a writing contest based on the prompt "Winter." To get some ideas I re-read Wallace Stevens' "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." Good writing like this fills me with a certain satisfaction that nothing else can. I'm not saying that it's the best satisfaction, but it is peculiar to writing, a certain voice that says "yes" very quietly when I finish it. Then I am left with feeling of great space and often sigh deeply and look out of the window, if I happen to be near one.

It's a strange way of judging a piece of writing and certainly entirely subjective, but I can't deny that those writings which cause that reaction are in a special category and are those which I am most likely to touch very gently when they are sitting on the bookshelf, to put somewhere easily accessible. They're the ones I tend to return to again and again, both reading them and thinking about them.

A short list of these:

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"
The Blue Sword
The Thirteenth Tale
"Death be Not Proud"
The Rosemary Tree
"The Lake Isle of Innisfree"

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