Yeats – Ice or salt?

“All that is personal soon rots unless it is packed in ice or salt.” Yeats

Poet Mark Doty says of this, “Of course the ice and salt [Yeats] meant was the power of form, the preservative element of language, which can hold a moment from the past, allow us to return to it, and allow us to give it to someone else.”

And for you? Ice? Or salt?




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Nazim Hikmet, Turkish poet

Istanbul 2007

Istanbul 2007











To think of roses and gardens inside is bad,
to think of seas and mountains is good.
Read and write without rest,
and I also advise weaving
and making mirrors.


(from ‘Some Advice’, 1949)

Nazim Hikmet


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Annie Dillard, essayist, novelist

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. 
Annie Dillard


img_32591Summer rain on pond.


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A hero, an artist — Dorothea Lange

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still…”
~ Dorothea Lange

When I was writing my first novel, I kept pictures of the Philippines nearby, pinned to a bulletin board. Not only pictures of landscapes, but also of people. Do you use pictures you’ve taken — or discovered — in your work? How?

Dorothea Lange was an amazing woman who documented the hard economic times of early years. Here’s a site that shows her work and life (and there’s also a direct link in my blogroll)


Filed under On photography, Quote

Quote from Marilynne Robinson’s book of essays: Death of Adam


   In her essay entitled Psalm Eight, Marilynne Robinson writes, “I have spent my life watching, not to see beyond the world, merely to see, great mystery, what is plainly before my eyes. I think the concept of transcendence is based on a misreading of creation. With all respect to heaven, the scene of the miracle is here, among us. The eternal as an idea is much less preposterous than time, and this very fact should seize our attention.”


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“Every tree and plant in the meadow seemed to be dancing, those which average eyes would see as fixed and still.”  Rumi, Persian poet, 1207 to 1273.  

 I think often of the saying, “Landscape is character.” Chekhov, perhaps. How does landscape affect your characters or writing?




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“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.”   

                                                                       Plato, The Republic


This quote begins my essay, The Body Remebers, that will be published in a collection that is released in April, 2009. The collection, Because I Love Her – 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond, includes essays by Karen Joy Fowler, Joyce Maynard, and Jacquelyn Mitchard, and is edited by Andrea N. Richesin. 

How do your children’s passions, such as dance, or your own childhood passions, find their way into your fiction, essays, and art?


Filed under Istanbul, Photo