Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where Everything is Music

Don't worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn't matter.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world's harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we can't see.

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the centre of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lorrie Moore on Writing

Here's an interesting little piece about Lorrie Moore's views on writing. 

"The only really good piece of advice I have for my students is, 'Write something you'd never show your mother or father.' And you know what they say? 'I could never do that!'"

She's commenting on the close relationship young people today often have with their parents, but this closeness can breathe an eagerness to please not only the parents themselves, but authority in general. Moore's writing sometimes conveys a nasty view of humanity, one that would surely sadden any mother or father, but the nastiest parts are often the most funny and true. Insofar as it encourages students to stop trying to make people happy, Moore's advice is great — readers, like all humans, don't necessarily know what they want, and trying to please isn't a very good way of actually doing so.