Archive for May 1st, 2006

Ole Fred, on Writing

May 1, 2006 @ 3:29 am | Filed under:

“Writing is such an inescapable part of literate culture, such an ordinary part of communal aspiration, that a writer should not much pride himself on his precious volumes. Even if he is the most radical of thinkers, someone who desires to tear his culture down and build it again from the bottom up, society—American society, anyhow—can turn to him and say, ‘Yes, but the reason you were educated was to enable you to think precisely these thoughts.’ ”

—Fred Chappell, “Welcome to High Culture,” Plow Naked: Selected Writings on Poetry

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And on Poetry

May 1, 2006 @ 3:28 am | Filed under:

“There are some things we learn in order to know them and some things we learn in order to live with them. If you wish to learn how to drive a car safely or how to manufacture hydrochloric acid, then it will be better not to turn to books of poetry for instruction. But if you wish to know or to remember how it feels still to be in love with a person who has done you most dreadful wrong and to serach desperately for a way to forgive that person so you can go on loving, then Facts on File is no help, nor the IBM PC Computer Operator’s Manual. We need to learn, probably, the basic skills of driving automoblies only once; the other lesson, how to feel and behave in a difficult love affair, we must learn again and again. Then we turn to poetry.”

—Fred Chappell, “The Function of the Poet,” Plow Naked: Selected Writings on Poetry

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