Writers on Vision


“First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind.  If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it.  We do not write in order to be understood;  we write in order to understand.”–Robert Cecil Day-Lewis




“I think that one is constantly startled by the things that appear before you on the page when you’re writing.”–Shirley Hazzard




“The writer’s only real task: to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.”–James Baldwin


“We have all been little pitchers with big ears, shooed out of the kitchen when the unspoken is being spoken, and we have probably all been tale-bearers, blurters at the dinner table, unwitting violators of adult rules of cenorship.  Perhaps this is what writers are: those who never kicked the habit.  We remained tale-bearers.  We learned to keep our eyes open, but not to keep our mouths shut.”–Margaret Atwood



“It takes great courage to look where you have to look, which is in yourself, in your experience, in your relationship with fellow beings, your relationship to the earth, to the spirit or to the first cause – to look at them and make something of them.”–Harry Crews


toni morrison

                                                                                     “When I sit down to write I never brood. I have so many other things to do, with my children and teaching, that I can’t afford it. I brood, thinking of ideas, in the automobile when I’m driving to work or in the subway or when I’m mowing the lawn. By the time I get to the paper something’s there–I can produce.”–Toni Morrison


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