"The poet stands at the center of the universe
contemplating the enigma,
from masterpieces of the past. ("The Early Motion" lines 1-4)
|Lu Chi's Wen Fu|
This simple book walks the writer through all the agonies of creation, the selection of the right word, bright epiphanies and the moments of satisfaction. Frequently, it reminds the reader that contemplation and study of master works is the road to writing well. I remember reading this book and nodding in agreement with each line. I also recall finding every time the professor brought this book into discussion in class that I knew what he was saying almost before the words left his mouth. There was an instant connection to the professor's words, this little book and my own understanding of the art of writing, however much a novice I was (and will always be as we are forever evolving in this craft).
If you are a writer, get this book. Read it in small bits. Breath it. Contemplate it and then read the masters. Then read the book again, whole, part, in sequence, out of order. Grab snatches of it and return to it often. Each reading is a new understanding, a new breath in writing.