Posts tagged literature
Redefining Literature (Quote of the Day)

I grew up considering literature to be the kind of works I read in English class: Romeo and Juliet, The Scarlet Letter, Catcher in the Rye. Even In my free time, I enjoyed similar works (and still do). My taste has always been broad, however, so I also liked other things. More "commercial" things, like Pendragon, Harry Potter, and pretty much anything else I could get my book-loving hands on. I loved to read. I would read toilet paper packages if there was nothing else around. Instruction manuals. Nutrition facts. And in my mind, I knew these things were "literature," but they weren't… Literature.  Please read that last word in a snobby-sounding, accented voice, because that's totally how I said it.

Merriam-Webster appears to agree with Growing-Up Me on that:

So there's literature, and then there's less-than-literature. We even make a distinction between "literary" and "commercial" fiction, as though one is related to literature and the other is simply business-based, somehow; as though their intrinsic value relates to different things.

Well. Since leaving the academic world, I've learned a thing or two, and I have to say to Merriam-Webster, Growing-Up Me, and most of my English teachers/professors:

Literature (snobby accent again) is not the only literature out there. It's not the only type of writing with literary value. I've seen blog posts more beautiful than some canonized works. There have been advertisements that made me cry. There's even been—yes—graffiti that made me think more intensely than Dickens or Hemingway could (not that I don't dig those two, because I do).

Don't get me wrong; I'm not one who thinks all art is created equal. Obviously there are some works that are better than others. But who decides that? And who decided that means that only the "best" are literature and the rest are tossed into the not-quite-literature-but-almost pile? The truth is that anything written can be beautiful and worthwhile, because language in itself is beautiful and worthwhile—no matter the format.

Today's Prompt (if you're brave enough): Go graffiti something. If you're not brave enough or have other constraints: Write a story in which someone graffitis something.

Happy Writing!


Utilizing Metaphor in Writing (Poetry Prompt/Quote of the Day)

Instead of a quote, I've decided to share one of my own poems with you today. I wrote this a couple years ago in response to a prompt similar to the one I'll give you today, and I've carried it with me ever since! Funny how writing prompts can turn out some of our favorite work, isn't it?

The point of this prompt is to write about one thing without really writing about that thing. In other words: utilizing metaphor. Metaphor is a wonderful tool for the writer. It enhances narrative as well as poetry, and gives a beautiful depth that you just can't get from a completely straightforward approach (or at least that's my humble opinion).

If the text in the image is unclear to anyone, here it is again:

Morning mist like milk surrounds us.
We drink it; bathe in it
until the sun dries our bones.
Even after it has evaporated into midday
our clothes cling to us
as we cling to one another,
saturated with the memory of dawn.

In some approaching hour
twilight will drip on us like honey:
thick, sweet, and golden.
By dark it will have trickled to our feet
and we will stand in puddles of nectar,
soaked through and waiting;
Anticipating midnight's silent arrival.

At that moment I will hold to you,
recall daybreak, and say assured,
"I loved you well in morning mist,
but now I love you better."

So now that you've seen my take, here's the prompt itself. Have fun with this one!

Today's Prompt: Write a poem about change, growth, and the passage of time. You may not use any form of the words "change," "growth," or "time."

Happy Writing!