English: Title page of Miscellany Poems, on Se...

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A writer’s desire to write can only have come from previous experience of literature, and he’ll start be imitating whatever he’s read, which usually means what the people around him are writing.

Northrop Frye, “The Educated Imagination


“…to write well it is entirely necessary to read widely and deeply.  Good poems are the best teachers.  Perhaps they are the only teachers.  I would go so far as to say that, if one must make a choice between reading or taking part in a workshop, one should read.”

Mary Oliver, “A Poetry Handbook

I have been thinking to myself, for the past two years, that since I have no time for practicing writing I had better read as much and as well as I can.  I came across these two pearls within a week and have taken it as a little nudge from God: “Come on, keep going!  You’re on the right path.”  Perhaps I’ll never “paint my masterpiece” like The Band sings, but I will have satisfied my urges.  Or as Northrop Frye and Mary Oliver seem to think of it, I’ll have fulfilled a necessary requirement for being human – using my imagination.


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