Those words belong to William J. Long, an early twentieth century nature writer whom E. B. White first read as a child. Long was one of the young White's muses. In the above paragraph, I see snatches of the aesthetic that probably guided much of White's mature writing life, including the composition of Charlotte's Web.
Every writer has inspirations. As an undergraduate student, mine were Peter Ackroyd, Robert Frost, and Flannery O'Connor among others. I loved authors who combined history and nature and faith in strange, lyrical ways. As I got older, I adopted other muses. Sharon Olds. Phil Levine. Oscar Hijuelos. I could keep going. I've learned something from each and every author I've read.
I recently finished Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. The breadth and scope of her storytelling is astounding. She, justifiably, has been compared to Charles Dickens. Her prose reads like poetry, and I really admire it. She makes me almost want to give up writing. That's how good she is.
Tomorrow night, I'm giving a poetry reading and workshop at a local library for an organization called the Center for Lifelong Learning. From what I understand, CLL is mostly for retired/mature people who are curious to try new things. I'm going to make them try poetry. I know one of my former math professors is going to be there with his wife. It's going to be an adventure.
Who knows? Maybe Saint Marty will end up being someone's muse tomorrow evening.
|Works for me|