More noise on silence

From the brilliant Christian Wiman’s Ambition and Survival:

“Enduring silence is no small part of poetry’s discipline, acquiring the patience to wait, knowing when not to write.”

This is an awfully tempting excuse to use on all my many not-writing days, but I am cognizant of the difference between lazy-not-writing and deepening-in-silence-not-writing, although rarely strong enough to drag myself out of the first to fling myself into the second. Sometimes I just need to watch Project Runway.

“Poetry arises out of absence, a deep internal sense of wrongness, out of a mind that feels itself to be in some way cracked. An original poem is a descent into and experience of this insufficiency.”

I’m not sure about this one. I’m not sure absence and wrongness are always the igniting sparks of writing. Sometimes it’s the over fullness of something and, if not a sense of rightness, then a need to weigh-out-loud.


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