They seem incapable of the stuff that is over-and-above. I do believe maybe it goes on in their heads they are incapable of catching it as they read but. They have been too directly intent from the reading. They cant get going looking two ways at once. I do believe too they’ve been scared of the simplicity of numerous things they think in the relative side because they read. They wouldn’t have the face area in order to connect it in writing utilizing the great author they have been reading. It might be a childhood memory; it could be some homely simile; it could be a relative line or verse of mother goose. They want it to be bookish and big. Nonetheless they haven’t books enough inside their heads to complement book stuff with book stuff. Needless to say a few of that would be all right.
Indeed, in lots of ways Frost’s advice on essay-writing is truly suggestions about reading — that mutuality of thought between reader and writer, pulsed through by the written book as “a heart that only beats within the chest of some other.” Echoing Virginia Woolf’s dictum on how best to read a book, Frost offers counsel so passionate so it becomes almost a stream-of-consciousness prose poem, barely punctuated:
The overall game is matching your author thought for thought in just about any of the numerous possible ways. Reading then becomes that are converse and take. It is only conversation where the reader takes part addressing himself to anything at all within the author in the matter that is subject or. In the same way once we talk together! Being careful to carry up our end and also to do our part agreeably without a lot of contradiction and mere opinionation. The best thing of all is going each other one better mounting up the ideas anecdotes and incidents like alternating hands piled up from the knee. Well its out of conversation like 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 advice that is practical
Be brief in the beginning. You need to be honest. You don’t want to help make your material seem more than it really is. You won’t have a great deal to state at first as you shall have later. My defect is within not having learned to hammer my material into one lump. We haven’t had experience enough. The information of essay won’t come in right in my situation while they will in narrative. Sometimes I have gotten round 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. why not try this out Be as concrete as the statutory law allows in it — concrete and experiential. Don’t allow it scare you. Don’t strain. Remember that any old thing that takes place in your thoughts while you read may be the thing you desire. If nothing much appears to happen, perhaps another reading will help. Perhaps the book is bad or perhaps is not your kind — is nothing to you and may start nothing in your nature some way.
He interjects a meta-remark from the nature — and naturalness — associated with the essay form:
Needless to say this letter is essay. It really is material which has had started to the area of my mind in reading just like frost brings stones towards the surface of the ground.
During the end that is very before signing off “Affectionately Papa,” Frost can’t resist taking a little jab at the essay, voicing the sentiment that generally seems to explain his own lifelong resistance to partaking when you look at the genre:
I don’t know you know whether its worth very much — I mean the essay — when you yourself have it written. I’m rather afraid of it as an enemy to your really creative writing that holds scenes and things within the eye voices into the ear and whole situations as a sort of plexus in the 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 children: Really not necessarily in 1962, published months that are mere her father’s death, and Digging right down to China in 1968.
The Letters of Robert Frost is a trove of writerly wisdom and heartwarming parental advice to the poet’s six children, of whom Lesley and her sister Irma outlived their father in its portly 850-page totality. 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 from the secret of good writing in a letter of advice to his own daughter, then revisit this growing library of writers’ advice on writing.
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