A Poet Reflects

"Kierkegaard said, ‘Drink from your own well.’  And I like that, taking it to mean that each of us has an individual source for our best work, and that to reach deliberately elsewhere is to neglect something essential in our writing.
So when I get up in the morning and settle down to write, I do not reach for what is timely or in style, but for something that suggests itself to me right at the moment.  It can be any trivial word or even syllable, or a sound from the tree outside, or what day it is, or that the sun is about to come up—anything.  And sometimes I feel that the more trivial it seems the better, for with nothing to live up to I can relax and catch onto a current within me.”
—William Stafford, from his brief essay “Reaching into the Well” in Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer’s Vocation (The University of Michigan Press, 2001)

"Kierkegaard said, ‘Drink from your own well.’  And I like that, taking it to mean that each of us has an individual source for our best work, and that to reach deliberately elsewhere is to neglect something essential in our writing.

So when I get up in the morning and settle down to write, I do not reach for what is timely or in style, but for something that suggests itself to me right at the moment.  It can be any trivial word or even syllable, or a sound from the tree outside, or what day it is, or that the sun is about to come up—anything.  And sometimes I feel that the more trivial it seems the better, for with nothing to live up to I can relax and catch onto a current within me.”

—William Stafford, from his brief essay “Reaching into the Well” in Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer’s Vocation (The University of Michigan Press, 2001)

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