Letters About Literature: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Dear Robert Frost,

I used to live in a world where every winter there was the assurance of snow. I would sit in the woods across from my house with my dog, watching the woods fill up with snow. I would watch as the snowflakes gracefully danced through the frozen sky, slowly descending upon the earth.

Read rest of poem by Katja Saana Sinikka Martin at The Library of Congress “Letters About Literature” website

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
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“Writers don’t write from experience….”

imgres.jpg“Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. …If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.”

Nikki Giovanni

(quote found at Goodreads)

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Mothers

BY NIKKI GIOVANNI

the last time i was home
to see my mother we kissed
exchanged pleasantries
and unpleasantries pulled a warm

“In school no time is spent, alas, on the aesthetic analysis of literary works. “

“In school no time is spent, alas, on the aesthetic analysis of literary works. Central themes are stressed along with their historical context. Such knowledge is of course crucial, but it will not suffice for anyone wishing to become a good, independent reader, let alone for someone with creative ambitions. Our young correspondents are often shocked that their poem about rebuilding postwar Warsaw or the tragedy of Vietnam might not be good. They’re convinced that honorable intentions preempt form. But if you want to become a decent cobbler, it’s not enough to enthuse over human feet. You have to know your leather, your tools, pick the right pattern, and so forth. . . . It holds true for artistic creation too.”

WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA (found at “How To (and How Not To) Write Poetry” 

The Joy of Writing

-Wislawa Szymborska

Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
For a drink of written water from a spring
whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?

Read rest of poem at NobelPrize.org

Mahmoud Darwish’s “To a Young Poet”

To a Young Poet

BY MAHMOUD DARWISH

TRANSLATED BY FADY JOUDAH

Don’t believe our outlines, forget them
and begin from your own words.
As if you are the first to write poetry
or the last poet.
If you read our work, let it not be an extension of our airs,
but to correct our errs
in the book of agony.
Don’t ask anyone: Who am I?
You know who your mother is.
As for your father, be your own.