Sunday, December 1, 2013

Unbroken, Uninterrupted Thought: The Writer's Traffic and Trade

On the poet's utter need for solitude:
The poem, as it starts to form in the writer's mind, and on paper, can't abide interrruption. I don't mean that it won't but that it can't. . . . To interrupt the writer from the line of thought is to wake the dreamer from the dream. The dreamer cannot enter that dream, precisely as it was unfolding, ever again becaue the line of thought is more than that: it is a line of feeling as well. Until interruption occurs, this feeling is as real as the desk on which the poet is working. For the poem is not nailed together, or formed from one logical point to another, which might be retrievable—it is created, through work in which the interweavings of craft, thought, and feeling are intricate, mysterious, and altogether "mortal." Interrupt—and the whole structure can collapse. 
—Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry (Harcourt: 1994), 117. 

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