Sunday, July 24, 2005

An essay by a poet

I have mentioned before that I have a difficult time writing prose. I lack the organization and the sense of pacing to write much prose.

Vivé Griffith writes an amazingly beautiful essay in The Gettysburg Review that illuminates many of these feelings on why and how I write:

"I never learned how to tell a story. Try as I might, I can never quite place a beginning, a middle, an ending on things. I get confused, and my endings become beginnings, my middles endings. Or I forget what happened and make something up. Or I think I can see the full sequence, but I get impatient on the way there.

I have learned instead to create moments. I am in love with moments.

Her love of moments is illustrated in the the subject of the essay, her father. She uses her poet's sense of word-painting to give us a sad, sweet picture of him.

"Here’s the thing: my father uses my poems to sell timeshare. He sits across those cheap metal folding tables that seem to be a staple in every timeshare office and says, “Let me show you a poem my daughter wrote.”

What kind of poems sell timeshare?

It is this sort of writing that sets my fingers itching to write. We'll see if it helps...

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