Quote of the Week: Monday, September 5, 2005

In writing the poem I make the connection, find the neural pathways to a deeply felt memory-generated emotion. That is how I know it is the Truth (not to be mistaken by the Fact). Once I have located the Truth, I have the Subject. Not the triggering subject, but the Thing that I must use as the basis of my essay or story. It is not that the poem and the prose are the same Thing, only that they come from the same source. I use this technique in order to answer the all-important question I must ask before I commit my time, my energies, and my heart to a writing project: Is it worth part of my life? Who cares if I make this poem or story? If I am passionate enough about something to write a poem, then it is worth my time and no one else needs to care about it. It is necessary to me.” – Judith Ortiz Cofer, from her essay “But Tell It Slant: From Poetry to Prose and Back Again”

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