This week Donald Miller said “My main advice to young writers: Memorize poetry. As much as you can. It teaches an economy of words”. So I burrowed through all my delicious old books and dug up two regal books of poetry. It does indeed teach an economy of words. There are so many words that I don’t even understand. Things we don’t use in everyday English anymore. But they are beautiful. Ballads and sonnets…love stories and tragedies. People’s hearts poured out onto page.
Tis fiction’s to dilute
Frequently the woods are pink
Frequently are brown
concisest, repudiates, epaulette, marauding, vestments, rudiment, bernardine, and so on… beautiful, enshrined in mystery and oozing with art. Poems do a lot more than teach an economy of words. But if DM says to memorize some…i guess I’m on my way.
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts to-night, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
Edna St. Vincent Millay