Friday, October 14, 2005

Learning from the arts

"I learn as much from painters about how to write as from writers. You ask how this is done? It would take a day of explaining. I should think what one learns from composers and from the study of harmony and counterpoint would be obvious." - Ernest Hemingway

This quote reminds me of the importance of listening to a poet. Of seeing for that matter. In each instance it is a keen awareness as to the patterns and layers of art or life.

With attention deficit disorder - listening is especially challenging. I have found that this is not all bad. I can for example often pick up a wide range of audio feedback... the difficulty is in not allowing one tiny speck of it to become larger than the rest. From a purely artistic point of view this is helpful.. I may discern something that the majority of the people listening to do not deem important or are not even tuned into. So from an artistic standpoint - this can be really positive. In practical adult - one on one communication, it might become problematic and frustrating to both parties.

In poetry as well as music, harmonizing your work or making it multi dimensional can greatly enhance it. The ability to nicely layer one's writing takes great effort and maturity of craft. I can certainly agree with Hemingway that we can learn a great deal that will improve our writing by experiencing with great openness the other arts.
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