Style is a very simple matter: it is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can’t use the wrong words. But on the other hand here I am sitting after half the morning, crammed with ideas, and visions, and so on, and can’t dislodge them, for lack of the right rhythm. Now this is very profound, what rhythm is, and goes far deeper than words. A sight, an emotion, creates this wave in the mind, long before it makes words to fit it; and in writing (such is my present belief) one has to recapture this, and set this working (which has nothing apparently to do with words) and then, as it breaks and tumbles in the mind, it makes words to fit it.
So the writer’s job is to recognize the wave, the silent swell, way out at sea, way out in the ocean of the mind, and follow it to shore, where it can turn or be turned into words, unload its story, throw out its imagery, pour out its secrets. And ebb back into the ocean of story.
This is why utterance is magic. Words do have power. Names have power. Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.
—Ursula Le Guin
We entrust our secrets to women and their listening ears draw the stories out of us.
—Maxine Hong Kingston
Sometimes we drug ourselves with dreams of new ideas. The head will save us. The brain alone will set us free. but there are no new ideas still waiting in the wings to save us as women, as human. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves—along with the renewed courage to try them out. And we must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions that our dreams imply, and so many of our old ideas disparage. In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only poetry to hint at possibility made real. Our poems formulate the implications of ourselves, what we feel within and dare make real (or bring action in accordance with), our fears, our hopes, our most cherished terrors.
Not so sure about: How safe the water at the edge of the sea. If I can swim back quickly. Reaching the water in time. Whether the waves will flood my home if I open the windows wide.
Know for sure: The waves will flood my home; I will open the windows wide.
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