To my surprise I have found my own writing to be a kind of hybrid genre, placed somewhere in between poetry and the essayistic. I love using hard-facts, you know: the quantifiable ones …, and am daily playing around with facts about the world that I find in encyclopedias and on pages like this & this & this – etc. And I have a strong liking fore nature writing.
But I very often find that I myself, and writers I read, use far too many words. And this is where poetry enters the scene. I’m looking for a transparent language, a language which can hold all the information about the inner and outer world in just a few sentences
well, of course it is!
I believe so –
Jumping from page to page this morning, I, by happy coincidence, as is so often the case, discovered the beautiful pages of Barrie Jean Borich. In an introduction to Creative Nonfiction Borich quotes Annie Dillard, saying:
“When I gave up writing poetry I was very sad, for I had devoted 15 years to the study of how the structures of poems carry meaning. But I was delighted to find that nonfiction prose can also carry meaning in its structures, can tolerate all sorts of figurative language, as well as alliteration and even rhyme. The range of rhythms in prose is larger and grander than it is in poetry, and it can handle discursive ideas and plain information as well as character and story. It can do everything. I felt as though I had switched from a single reed instrument to a full orchestra.“
– Annie Dillard
Today I will be reflecting upon the fiction/non-fiction dichotomy. Is it real?