making sh!t for your girlfriend since 2007


soon come

Craft Mart ~ Nov 8 (6pm - 11pm) & Nov 9 (11am - 7pm) ~ Hamilton Artists Inc. ~ 155 James Street North, Hamilton
Halifax Crafters Society Winter Market ~ Nov 30 & Dec 1 ~ Olympic Community Centre ~2304 Hunter Street, Halifax
City of Craft ~ Dec 14 & 15 ~ The Theatre Centre ~ 1087 & 1095 Queen Street West, Toronto

Monday, January 4, 2010

A wee bit of inspiration.

This is so good I have to quote it at length, from Nicholson Baker's The Anthologist: "And then a man of forty or so, with a French accent, asked, 'How do you achieve the presence of mind to initiate the writing of a poem?' And something cracked open in me, and I finally stopped hoarding and told them my most useful secret. The only secret that has helped me consistently over all the years that I've written. I said, 'Well, I'll tell you how. I ask myself a simple question. I ask myself: What was the very best moment of your day?' The wonder of it was, I told them, that this one question could lift out from my life exactly what I will want to write a poem about. Something that I hadn't known was important will leap up and hover there in front of me, saying I am - I am the best moment of the day...Often, I went on, it's a moment when you're waiting for someone, or you're driving somewhere, or maybe you're just walking diagonally across a parking lot and you're admiring the oil stains and the dribbled tar patterns. One time it was when I was driving past a certain house that was screaming with sunlitness on its white clapboards, and then I plunged through tree shadows that splashed and splayed over the windshield. I thought, Ah, of course - I'd forgotten. You, the windshield shadows, you are the best moment of the day. 'And that's my secret, such as it is,' I said."
One of my biggest regrets is that I've never kept a journal. Arriving at the above passage at the end of Baker's novel was totally an "A-ha!" moment and since I've taken a minute to consider the best part of my day (with pen in hand) the words have been gushing out like water out of an unscrewed fire hydrant in a Spike Lee movie. How lovely it is to sit down and write out your favourite memory of the day, in cursive even! The Anthologist is a meditation on poetry in the form of a narrative. So, you learn a lot without even realizing it. And any writer who can illustrate the use of inner quadruplets (or, the paeonic foot) in poetry by citing Ludacris lyrics is fine by me.

Took your mama nine months to make ya, might as well shake what your mama gave ya.


Coriander Girl said...

Lady! I love this!

Ghostface Knittah said...

Thought ya would. I'll lend it to you!