Day 5: What do you hope a reader will take away from your writing?
Short Answer: “What? No! When does the next book come out???”
Real Answer: Just kidding. I wouldn’t want my readers to come away unsatisfied! (Though hungry for more is perfectly acceptable… ;))
Robinson Jeffers has this fantastic poem, “To The Stone-Cutters” (see below), that communicates the ultimate evanescence of all things—and yet, even knowing that all things are doomed to blacken and wilt away, how we can find refuge in the written word. When readers come away from my writing I want them to feel that their lives are the richer for it. It is my sincerest hope that a story, a character, a conflict, or even a single line or poignant image will stay with them, a beautiful sanctuary for the rest of their lives.
Here’s the poem. Meaning to live by in ten short lines.
To The Stone-Cutters
By Robinson Jeffers
Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeated
Challengers of oblivion
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.
If I can reach people through the pages so that the words affect them…make them shudder, sigh, weep, throw the book across the room in frustration or get up and dance like a madman, I’ll know I’ve done my work.