Monday Inspiration – A Most Necessary Piece Of Equipment For A Writer

If you had to endow a writer with the most necessary pieces of equipment what would they be?

A yellow legal pad?

A thick skin?

A laptop?

A bottle of Jack Daniels?

When asked this same question the indomitable Maya Angelou replied:

Ears. Ears. To hear the language. But there’s no one piece of equipment that is most necessary. Courage, first.

Read The Paris Review interview here

My answer to this question would be that writers must read poetry.  We must read it to ‘tune’ our ears to the sounds of words because sounds matter.  Poetry reminds us through the use of effective devices that language is alive.  Stylistic devices such as alliteration, assonance and onomatopeia brighten language.

Here’s a famous example of onomatopeia – Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Bells?

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells,bells, bells, bells,..

I believe poetry infuses our life with beauty and meaning.  I believe poets are magicians.  They can take the most complex of issues or situations and simplify it into a concise message.

In her Nobel lecture “The Poet and The World” Wislawa Szymborska writes:

The world — whatever we might think when terrified by its vastness and our own impotence … is astonishing …

Granted, in daily speech, where we don’t stop to consider every word, we all use phrases like “the ordinary world,” “ordinary life,” “the ordinary course of events” … But in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone’s existence in this world.

Do you read poetry?  What do you believe are the benefits to reading poetry?


5 thoughts on “Monday Inspiration – A Most Necessary Piece Of Equipment For A Writer

  1. I’m embarrassed to admit, the only poetry I read is on my fellow bloggers posts. Perhaps I would be a better writer if I expand my horizons.
    “A bottle of Jack Daniels” too funny! I would be under my desk if I drank a shot of that stuff. 🙂
    I hope your doing better, Yolanda…I’ve been thinking about you.

    • Glad you enjoyed this post Jill 😀 I am doing much better (thanks for thinking of me) I was overwhelmed Friday by work so I really appreciated your post. Also, on friday – and this is how God works – I received an unexpected gift from an author I admire: a copy of her latest book! It was a lovely surprise and I think your good vibes had something to do with it 🙂 have a super week!

  2. I haven’t read poetry in year and this is a great reminder that I should get back into reading it 😀

    I would endow my writer with a beautiful and tranquil place to write in (and a bottle of Jack) 😉

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