Zen in the Art of Writing
eBook - ePub

Zen in the Art of Writing

Ray Bradbury

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eBook - ePub

Zen in the Art of Writing

Ray Bradbury

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About This Book

In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing.

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…ON CREATIVITY

GO PANTHER-PAWED WHERE ALL THE MINED
TRUTHS SLEEP
Not smash and grab, but rather find and keep;
Go panther-pawed where all the mined truths sleep
To detonate the hidden seeds with stealth
So in your wake a weltering of wealth
Springs up unseen, ignored, and left behind
As you sneak on, pretending to be blind.
On your return along the jungle path you’ve made
Find all the littered stuffs where you have strayed;
The small truths and the large have surfaced there
Where you stealth-blundered wildly unaware
Or seeming so. And so these mines were mined
In easy game of pace and pounce and find;
But mostly fluid pace, not too much pounce.
Attention must be paid, but by the ounce.
Mock caring, seem aloof, ignore each mile
And metaphors like cats behind your smile
Each one wound up to purr, each one a pride,
Each one a fine gold beast you’ve hid inside,
Now summoned forth in harvests from the brake
Turned anteloping elephants that shake
And drum and crack the mind to awe,
To behold beauty yet perceive its flaw.
Then, flaw discovered, like fair beauty’s mole,
Haste back to reckon all entire, the Whole.
This done, pretend these wits you do not keep,
Go panther-pawed where all the mined truths sleep.
WHAT I DO IS ME – FOR THAT I CAME
for Gerard Manley Hopkins.
What I do is me – for that I came.
What I do is me!
For that I came into the world!
So said Gerard;
So said that gentle Manley Hopkins.
In his poetry and prose he saw the Fates that chose
Him in genetics, then set him free to find his way
Among the sly electric printings in his blood.
God thumbprints thee! he said.
Within your hour of birth
He touches hand to brow, He whorls and softly stamps
The ridges and the symbols of His soul above your eyes!
But in that selfsame hour, full born and shouting
Shocked pronouncements of one’s birth,
In mirrored gaze of midwife, mother, doctor
See that Thumbprint fade and fall away in flesh
So, lost, erased, you seek a lifetime’s days for it
And dig deep to find the sweet instructions there
Put by when God first circuited and printed thee to life:
‘Go hence! do this! do that! do yet another thing!
This self is yours! Be it!
And what is that?! you cry at hearthing breast,
Is there no rest? No, only journeying to be yourself.
And even as the Birthmark vanishes, in seashell ear
Now fading to a sigh, His last words send you in the world:
‘Not mother, father, grandfather are you.
Be not another. Be the self I signed you in your blood.
I swarm your flesh with you. Seek that.
And, finding, be what no one else can be.
I leave you gifts of Fate most secret; find no other’s Fate,
For if you do, no grave is deep enough for your despair
No country far enough to hide your loss.
I circumnavigate each cell in you
Your merest molecule is right and true.
Look there for destinies indelible and fine
And rare.
Ten thousand futures share your blood each instant;
Each drop of blood a cloned electric tw...

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