“If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?” This visceral, concrete, and highly personal definition of poetry is the most fitting way to view Dickinson’s own work. Whether a poem is true “poetry” does not depend for Dickinson on its use of meter, rhyme, stanzas, or line length, but on the almost physical sensation created in the reader by the poem’s words, the arctic chill in the marrow of the bones or the stunning blow to the mind that the reader experiences in the act of reading. – Wendy Martin
NaNoWriMo has given me the opportunity to write seriously again, this year. I’ve also started keeping tabs of literary blogs as I pour words into the document that, at the end of this month, will be a full book. This quote struck me especially this morning as I contemplated the way I would make a reader feel when I write how I do. It’s so easy to describe a scene but exponentially more difficult to make someone feel the scene. As a child the books that made the most impact on me were the ones that pushed scenes into my mind that captured my imagination and made it work to create the world around me. Modern novels, especially the cheap reads we get off our NY Bestseller list most of the time, really don’t make me feel like some of the older stuff I’ve read.
Now I understand I’m no literary expert, and maybe I was just more impressionable when I was younger, but I still feel that the author has to pour themselves into a book, and into their readers, to make an impact. Essentially, all artists pour their work into mediums outside their minds for the sake of sharing a feeling with a stranger. To make a difference in the life of someone else, no matter how small. It’s the burden of a social creature like us.
Read the book Rebecca. It’s a very good example of a literary work that gets the point across by the way the the lines are written, without being overly descriptive or speeding through the plot to keep interest.
NaNoWriMo writers are a third of the way through their novels today. I can’t wait to share my little fantasy novel with you all soon!