Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On quote

I recently wrote about writing, cuts of poetry, and a quote. I have found another quote to help prove my point.

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.
~Charles Peguy*

Peguy explains exactly what I was trying to explain in one of my previous posts. Words have different meanings to us. Water may not seem like an extraordinary word to you, but after I think about it, it is a very good, important and (dare I say it?) a beautiful word. Water always reminds me of this pretty fantasy that we have of swimming underwater. I love swimming. It isn't entirely a fantasy, because we can swim under water, but imagine if we could breathe underwater! You are probably thinking, "What about snorkeling? Oxygen tanks?" But what if we could actually go under water and breathe without all of that equipment strapped on our backs? We can't. I have always had a fascination with water. I love the taste of certain different kinds of water. I love to be in the water, and I also really enjoy writing (thinking?) about water people, people that live in the water, breathe in the water, drink the water. Water nymphs really. I have a few of those kinds of characters in my book, and I have enjoyed thinking about them, thinking about their culture and lifestyle, about their mannerisms and personality 'quirks.'
But the next writer may say, "What a silly thought! Water is terrifying! Water doesn't even taste good. See this coke? Try that, it tastes better than water." I do think that water can be terrifying. But it is certainly fun! This person probably wrenches the word 'water' out of his gut. I, on the other hand, pull it out of my overcoat pocket. Sometimes our feelings and thoughts will effect the way we look at a word. An expectant mother may suddenly see the beauty of the words, baby, child, little, cute, soft. Young words. Ah-ha! Young words. That is such a pretty phrase! Young words. You probably have a great phrase buried deep in your mind, or even something that you say all the time, an expression you use. Writing is a very interesting world of possibilities, no matter what you decided when you were in school!
Anna Elizabeth Hedges

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