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Friday, July 11, 2008

Obligatory Communication

"One of the obligations of the writer is to say or sing all that he or she can, to deal with as much of the world as becomes possible to him or her in language." ~ Denise Levertov

So, you thought you'd just write the great American novel or win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Then, maybe travel a bit. Speak hear and there about what it's like now that you are a successful writer. Poet Denise Levertov seems to see it differently. She wants us to dig deep down in our own humanity and and communicate who and what we are within the language of our work. I don't know about you but that seems a pretty heavy responsibility.

Maybe what Levertov is saying is that whatever you write, don't do it half assed. If you are going to write, you owe it to your reader to put your total self into it. Make the language you speak be totally from yourself and make it the best representation of who you are that you can. I suppose anything short of that cheats both the reader and our self. I hate to say it, but it kind of reminds me of the Army advertisement... "Be all that you can be."

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