I love quotes: brief lines stating a truth uttered by someone and preserved in print and memory. Most of them are only a sentence or two. Their brevity is part of their appeal. For me, a quote is like a cubby-hole door to a whole world of thought.
Of course I collect quotes. At one point I taped them to my refrigerator. (Yes, this was ages ago, before Post It notes.) I never thought much about using my fridge as a bulletin board until I found a neighbor girl standing in my kitchen reading the lines I’d taped there. It’s good to get ideas/truths/quotes out where people can appreciate them — even if it’s only on the door to a refrigerator. Now, of course, I have this blog, so I’m going to go back to posting quotes and maybe even short poems or bits of poems, and sometimes I’ll add my personal take on them. Here’s one now.
This morning, as fumbled through my kitchen half-asleep, ousted from bed much earlier than I wanted to be, the first line of an Emily Dickinson poem floated through my mind: I started early, took my dog… The cadence of the words held me spell-bound as I considered how those brief lines set the mood, created a visual scene, and hinted at a deliberate destination. As a writer of fiction, I was swept away. I could see a woman, lost in thought, with her dog trotting beside her, heading for a specific destination.
What she’s going off to do or experience is the subject of scholarly debate. I don’t intend to wade into those waters –the poem has her walking into a metaphoric sea — I’ll end my musings on the shore. Those few lines have given me enough to think about. I hope they’ll have you thinking too, about the power of carefully chosen words.