Sunday, November 8, 2009

Advice to Writers by Billy Collins


Advice To Writers
by Billy Collins

Even if it keeps you up all night,
wash down the walls and scrub the floor
of your study before composing a syllable.

Clean the place as if the Pope were on his way.
Spotlessness is the niece of inspiration.

The more you clean, the more brilliant
your writing will be, so do not hesitate to take
to the open fields to scour the undersides
of rocks or swab in the dark forest
upper branches, nests full of eggs.

When you fiind your way back home
and stow the sponges and brushes under the sink,
you will behold in the light of dawn
the immaculate altar of your desk,
a clean surface in the middle of a clean world.

From a small vase, sparkling blue, lift
a yellow pencil, the sharpest of the bouquet,
and cover pages with tiny sentences
like long rows of devoted ants
that followed you in from the woods.

From: "Sailing Alone Around the Room"

*************************************

The photo is one of my three holey stones with holes made by water.

Blessings, Love & Peace,

~*~Marion~*~

13 comments:

Kelly said...

I have a stone like that in one of my aquariums!

Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

RNSANE said...

Maybe I would come up with much better efforts if I followed this advice - even the small vase, sparkling blue and the yellow pencil, sharpest of the bouquet, would be an improvement. I MUST work on that.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

wonderful post - and fantastic accompanying music!!! had to sit and soak it all up for a while! :)

Rikkij said...

Marion-At least now I know WHY I suck. Thanks heaps. ~rick

Rikkij said...

Marion- where do my comments go. Your site just don't like me. Just wanted to tell you how pleased I was to find out why I suck. peace & love ~rick

Inky said...

lovely post and song went great with it, what a great way to SOAK up this beautiful Autumn morn.. SMILES

Marion said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I appreciate you all. Blessings!

Rick, you do not suck, you goofball, you're a fabulous writer. It's just 'his' poem. I write in a house (and head) filled with chaos and still manage to keep at it. Now I feel bad because you think you suck. :-( Love, Hugs & Blessings, dear, fabulous poet-friend.

Wine and Words said...

I completely agree. I cannot create in chaos or mess. Unfortunately my office mates have always, still are, slobs. They file by pile and organize themselves by keeping everything they have to do within eyesite. But when I really need to create...I gotta start with a clean slate. Slobs be damned.

Margaret Pangert said...

lol, Marion! When I get too nervous sitting at my computer to write, I go clean something! No trees or bird nests, though! It's so true that the pressure gets so great you think of a comforting chore. I LOVE your holey stone! That could be a piece of jewelry as well as a talisman! xxox

Renee said...

Visions that were planted in my head still remain in the sounds of silence.........

xoxoxo

Phoenix said...

I love this! However, I have to admit that I use cleaning as a way to avoid writing, so this might not work for me as much... :)

TheChicGeek said...

I love this, Marion :)
I have to have everything clean or I can't think!!! LOL
(It can be quite a problem...lol)

Love and Blessings to You!
Kelly

SarahA said...

I am liking Billy Collins words, very good advice. Something my Mother would say!
'When you fiind your way back home
and stow the sponges and brushes under the sink,
you will behold in the light of dawn
the immaculate altar of your desk,
a clean surface in the middle of a clean world' I love that image, in my mind's eye.