Friday, October 20, 2006

Keeping a Keen Eye on the Moment

How do you get to be a poet the stature of Ted Kooser, whose poetry has garnered him the Pulitzer Prize and the Poet Laureate of the US? Listening to him last night at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls, you might have heard an answer. You might try getting up early, every day, as he does, and write for a couple of hours, knowing that most of what you write is destined for the trash bin. You pay attention to the world around you, shutting off the voices that cry out in your head, "I should have . . ." and "I should . . ." and rather concentrate on the moment in front of you. Be here now, basically. Pay attention to what is here. Observe, and notice the small things others might not see. When you write, pay attention to how things sound. All that shouldn't be so tough, should it?

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