- Title Pages
- 1 Kindred Spirits
- 2 Intimacy in Language
- 3 Laughter for Dessert
- 4 The Poetry of Ping-Pong
- 5 Days of Chess and Backgammon
- 6 Inventing a Language for Love
- 7 Poetry on the Porch
- 8 All My Trials
- 9 The AIDS Poets
- 10 Oh Did You See the Ashes Come Thickly Falling Down?
- 11 The POEMobile Dreams of Peace
- 12 Free Market Flavor
- 13 The Poetry in Science
- 14 Navigating Transitions
- 15 The Human Unit of Time
- 16 Your Body as Symbol
- 17 Intimations of Immortality
- 18 God Is in the Details
- 19 Breath on the Mirror
- 20 The Best Stories versus My Story
- 21 The Grease Lamp’s Flicker and Flare
- 22 Lion’s Gate
- 23 Rock and Word
- For Further Reading
Breath on the Mirror
Breath on the Mirror
Finding Your Own Voice
- (p.201) 19 Breath on the Mirror
- The Poetry of Everyday Life
- Cornell University Press
The author explains here bhow holding your breath on the mirror lets you express and discern your own distinctive voice and know who you really are. He talks about his creative writing class, in which students experiment with fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose. The students learn that even if they are writing about something far outside themselves, it is still a reflection of who they are and how they interpret what they see. As his students endeavor to find their own voice, the author often shares the work of famous writers whose voice is embedded in their sentence structure and is immediately recognizable; for example, Joan Didion, Edith Wharton, and Jamaica Kincaid. He also encourages his students to look for moments when their own life stories intersect with a larger history.
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