They seem incompetent at the over-and-above stuff. I believe maybe it goes on inside their heads they are incapable of catching it as they read but. They have been too directly intent on the reading. They cant get started looking two ways at the same time. I believe too they’ve been scared of the simplicity of several things they think from the relative side as they read. They wouldn’t have the face to get in touch it on paper with all the great author they have been reading. It could be a childhood memory; it may possibly be some homely simile; it might be a relative line or verse of mother goose. They want that it is big and bookish. Nonetheless they haven’t books enough in pay for assignment writing their heads to fit book stuff with book stuff. Of course several of that would be all right.
Indeed, in many ways Frost’s advice on essay-writing is really advice on reading — that mutuality of thought between reader and writer, pulsed through by the written book as “a heart that only beats when you look at the chest of some other.” Echoing Virginia Woolf’s dictum on how best to read a written book, Frost offers counsel so passionate that it becomes almost a stream-of-consciousness prose poem, barely punctuated:
The video game is matching your author thought for thought in any of the numerous ways that are possible. Reading then becomes converse — give and take. It really is only conversation when the reader takes part addressing himself to anything more in the author inside the subject material or form. In the same way as soon as we talk together! Being careful to carry up our end also to do our part agreeably without an excessive amount of contradiction and mere opinionation. The most sensible thing of all is going each other one better turning up the ideas anecdotes and incidents like alternating hands piled up from the knee. Well its out of conversation similar to this with a book yours perhaps the book’s that will serve for other lesser ideas to center around that you find perhaps one idea perhaps. And there’s your essay.
He lands from this poetic elation into some practical advice:
Be brief in the beginning. You have to be honest. You don’t want to produce your material seem more than it really is. You won’t have a great deal to state to start with while you will have later. My defect is within not having learned to hammer my material into one lump. We haven’t had experience enough. The facts of essay won’t come in right they will in narrative for me as. Sometimes We have gotten across the difficulty by some dodge that is narrative.
Take it easy with the essay anything you do. Write it as well if you have to write it as you can. Be as concrete as the statutory law allows in it — concrete and experiential. Don’t allow it scare you. Don’t strain. Keep in mind that any old thing that occurs in your thoughts while you read may be the thing you need. If nothing much seems to happen, perhaps another reading will help. Probably the written book is bad or perhaps is not your kind — is absolutely nothing to both you and can start nothing in your nature some way.
He interjects a meta-remark regarding the nature — and naturalness — regarding the essay form:
Needless to say this letter is essay. It is material which includes arrived at the area of my mind in reading in the same way frost brings stones towards the surface of this ground.
At the end that is very before signing off “Affectionately Papa,” Frost can’t resist taking only a little jab at the essay, voicing the sentiment that appears to explain his or her own lifelong resistance to partaking into the genre:
I don’t know you realize whether its worth very much — I mean the essay — when you have it written. I’m rather afraid of it as an enemy towards the really creative writing that holds scenes and things within the eye voices within the ear and whole situations as a sort of plexus in your body (I don’t know just where).
Lesley spent my youth to be an author herself, albeit not of essays — she published two books of stories for kids: Really certainly not in 1962, published months that are mere her father’s death, and Digging down seriously to China in 1968.
With its portly 850-page totality, The Letters of Robert Frost is a trove of writerly wisdom and heartwarming parental advice into the poet’s six children, of whom Lesley and her sister Irma outlived their father. Complement it with Frost’s poem that is beautiful art and government, that he intended to but didn’t read at JFK’s inauguration, and F. Scott Fitzgerald regarding the secret of great writing in a letter of advice to his very own daughter, then revisit this growing library of writers’ advice on writing.
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