Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Daily Standard...

The poet William Stafford was asked by an interviewer about his habit of writing a poem every day. He told the person that yes - he started the poem in the morning before the kids got up, then he put it down while he made them breakfast, then he might work on it after the kids went to school and put it down for lunch and so on until by the end of the day it was done.

The interviewer, incredulous that anyone could write a poem every day asked Mr. Stafford, "How do you do it? How can you be inspired every day to write a poem?"

Mt Stafford replied, "I lower my standards.”

I suppose the same is true in context with adding a daily blog post. Forget inspiration, some days are just going to be haphazard entries!

I don’t write every single day, but I do get something down most down days. Mostly because I’m a creature of habit (some good ones, others bad). But daily means that lots of the time my writing won’t be eloquent or clever or polished. More often than not I have to lower my standard (how do you lower non excellence?) and I’m certainly not even attempting to be poetic. So, my hat is off to William Stafford, I can barely pull off prose day by day. I can’t even imagine waxing poetic on a daily schedule!

Stafford, whose poetry is often compared to that of Robert Frost, composed over 22,000 poems in his life. On the day he died of a sudden heart attack in 1993, his family found a poem he had been writing that day that contained the following lines:
“You don’t have to
prove anything,” my mother said. ‘Just be ready
for what God sends.’”