July 19, 2011

Editor Quote to Consider

W.H. Auden said, "A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language." I believe this to be true of all writers. Do you agree? Tell us why or why not here.

Looking forward to reading all of your feedback.



  1. Of course! Isn't it required to be a word geek and a language lover first before one writes? This was the case for me, at least.

  2. Agreed! It is definitely true for all writers - not just poets! Writers are people who are passionate about most everything around them, including language, but not just.

  3. Yes, I believe this is true! I love learning new words and looking them up in the dictionary. I love words. A word has a general meaning but unfortunately some words have baggage attatched to them that have twisted their meaning. For example the word love. Love is sung about in songs all the time. Love stinks? Love broke my heart? This is not the true meaning of love. Love is patient, love is kind. I love thinking and writing. I know I need help with my grammar but I am learning!

  4. And the beautiful thing is that a poet helps the reader fall more in love with language! I heard a writer talk about this yesterday and I believe it to be very true!

  5. I agree. Poetry makes me fall in love with language even more.

  6. I love that. It’s so cool how writing and reading is a beautiful cycle and we just fall more and more in love.

    Leslie Norris said: “You don’t have any business being a writer if you don’t love words.”
    Marvin Bell called it: making words happy on a page.

    I have always firmly believed in that. But I don’t think the conversation should stop there. I’ve been thinking about this a great deal lately. A writer shouldn’t just love words, but love the world. Love this enchanting, mysterious people and place. Art is giving attention to all that mystery, trying to translate it, or believing in what you see and celebrating it. And it is mysterious, it’s like we have to have faith in it. I think the world is starving for mystery. I just had the above conversation with poet Melissa Kwasny (I know I’m being a total poetry geek here)—she described that creative attention/faith as what strengthens the inner life; anything we can do to strengthen the inner life is helpful. So it all comes full circle. I like this conversation; I think it is good to be reminded, to ask yourself why you write.

    Love words! Love everything!

  7. I adore Leslie Norris. I studied with him for a few months in college. He was a storyteller. My favorite story that he told was about being in maybe 1st grade and his teacher made them all put on their rain coats (it was a blustering gale outside) and go out and surround this giant tree in the school yard. She made them hug the tree and just hold on to it while the wind and rain whipped at them. Then she led them all back inside and said, "Now you know what it's like to be a tree in a gale."

    I think it's that kind of education you are talking about--that strengthens our inner life. That makes us fall in love with the world and then want to describe it with words.