Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bradbury Bytes

Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don't use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eye, your ear, your tongue, your hand . . .What poetry? Any poetry that makes your hair stand up along your arms. Don't force yourself too hard. Take it easy . . .You say you don't understand Dylan Thomas? Yes, but your ganglion does, and your secret wits, and all your unborn children. Read him, as you can read a horse with your eyes, set free and charging over an endless green meadow on a windy day. (Ray Bradbury, The Writer Archive, April 2008)

That last part reads like pure poetry to me. It rings with some deep-rooted, ancient truth of what it means to be connected to and by and with words, whether it's poetry or lyrics or personal essays or stories. It's that connection that makes the hair stand up along our arms, on the back of our necks. I hope we've all experienced that moment at some point. I felt it as I read the last two lines of this quote. I want my own writing to do that. We all want our writing to do that. And, if we haven't achieved that already, we will. We will.


  1. "Any poetry that makes your hair stand up along your arms" -- love it. I've always been impressed by how poetic Bradbury's prose is. Something worth aspiring to. Thanks, Madeline!

  2. Interesting. I often find that my poetry enhances my prose. Although I don't spend enough time on my poetry, either reading it, or writing it.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I love this post. I do read poetry quite a lot but I should read more. It always feels like it's lighting up a diffrent area of my brain ...

  4. Beautifully stated, both Bradbury and you, Madeline. Thanks for reminding us to stop and see the horses :-)

  5. I think I'm going to make one of my new year's writing resolutions to read more poetry. Although, I suppose I don't have to wait until January... :)

    (And Steve, as long as it's not stopping and "smelling" the horses, I'm good...)