With What Do You Write?

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I have written posts in the past asking questions such as — where do you write and when do you write?  I thought it was time to ask another such writing question.

With what do you write?  What is your favorite instrument? Is it a computer, a pen, or even a phone?

When I create a first draft, I use a pen and legal pad, because I find it allows my mind and imagination to engage in ways that does not happen at the keyboard. I am not saying this is the best way, only that it is my way. I realize that I may be old-fashioned, indeed, a dinosaur with this approach.

When I revise, however, I use the computer. Revision is a different writing task from drafting, and I need to then take my legal pads and transfer that information in draft 2 to a Word doc.

So, I am curious: with what do you write?

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Quotations on Questions

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“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important  thing is not to stop questioning.”

                                                          Albert Einstein

 

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“. . . re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

                                                              Walt Whitman

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“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

                              Socrates

 

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“The purpose of education should not be the accumulation of facts but the gaining of the ability to question everything.”

                                                            Charles F. French

 

Who Are Your Favorite Latin American Poets?

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As I continue this series on favorite writers, I am going to try to continue to hone in more specifically on regions as well as eras, although not always in the same post! For today’s question, I would like to learn who are some of your favorite Latin American poets. Unfortunately for me, I do not speak Spanish, so I can only address the writings of the following artists as their work appeared in translation. I am hoping, however, that the translations are accurate.

Here are a few of my most admired Latin American poets:

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Pablo Neruda

Neruda’s work might be among the best known poetry of any time or place in the world. I find his work to be astounding in its depth and breadth of subject. He was a well known political activist as well as a writer of some of the most beautiful love poetry. Neruda, from Chile, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971.

 

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Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral, of Chile, also won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1945), and has produced an enormous body of poetic work. Her work often encompasses a wide range of themes: among them: love, sorrow, bitterness, hope for the world, family, motherhood and the issue of Latin American identity.

 

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Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz completes this triumvirate of winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1990). Paz is one of the most well known Mexican poets, and his work was widely varied and dealt with many themes. A few are love, death, passion, natural beauty, as well as the Modern world and surrealism.

 

So I ask all of you–who are some of your favorite Latin American poets?

The Wisdom of Walt Whitman–to Question Everything

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I have taught Walt Whitman in several classes both at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, in traditional and adult classes.

This excerpt is from his introduction to the 1855 First Edition of Leaves of Grass.

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(http://www.whitmanarchive.org)

Whitman was one of the greatest American poets and has been called the Bard of Democracy. He challenged the existing views of normalcy in the United States across a wide range of topics. We live in a time, perhaps even more than in the 1800s, when great pressure exists to conform to what society defines normalcy to be. I believe it is crucial for individuals to find out who they are, for what they have passions, and what they believe. With this thought in mind, I want to share this small excerpt:

“re-examine all you have been told at church or school or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem”

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Whitman shattered the conventions of his time, and his admonition to us to question everything is as important today as it was in the mid-1800s.

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Please, keep Whitman’s idea in mind, and question everything.

Who Are Some Of Your Favorite American Poets?

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As I continue this series, I realized that with some categories, it is necessary to be more specific than I had been. Poets are one such group; I thought I would begin this discussion with American poets and then move on in later posts to poets from other places.

It is still an enormous task to choose several favorite poets, but since it is my series, I must do so. Here are my choices:

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Robert Frost

Without a doubt, Robert Frost is one of the most important American poets. He wrote many poems set in rural America, and his works earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Many who do not read much poetry are familiar with his famous poem: “The Road Not Taken.”

My next choice:

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Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was a poet of the 20th Century, and he was one of the most important of the creative minds who made up the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes wrote about life for African-Americans and about themes that dealt with the entirety of the American experience. One of his best know poems is “Dream Deferred.”

My third choice is a poet whom I have featured in this blog before:

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Robert Fillman

Mr. Fillman has a book of his poems being published this spring– November Weather Spell. I completely expect that, in the future, Robert Fillman will be recognized as one of the most important American poets.

Here is a link to the book page: November Weather Spell

and to his homepage: robertfillman.com

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My question to all of you is–who are some of your favorite American poets?

Who Are Some of Your Favorite Fantasy Writers?

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I thought I would continue this series on favorite writers by asking specifically about Fantasy today. I have addressed Speculative and Science-fiction writers, but now let us consider those we love reading in Fantasy.

Here is a brief list of some of my favorites:

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J. R. R. Tolkien and The Lord Of The Rings

 

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J. K. Rowling  The Harry Potter Series

 

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Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes

 

These writers are only a few of many possible whom I might have listed.

So, I ask you: who are some of your favorite fantasy writers?

Quotations on Thinking

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“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

                                                                     Plutarch

 

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“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”

                                                                   Christopher Hitchens

 

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“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

                                                                   Voltaire

 

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“A population that asks questions and analyzes deeply is the mark of an educated and free society; a citizenry that accepts blindly and embraces willful ignorance is the material for a dictatorship.”

                                                                 Charles F. French