Originality in Writing — Part 2

“‘Behind each jewel are three thousand sweating horses’ is another call for persistence, this time from Zen. Good writers undertake the work of those horses, in each moment’s effort and in the long apprenticeship that muscles the tongue with words as a dancer’s barre work muscles her legs and back with movement. Learning the hard-won repertory of craft is also a part of originality — only the presence of many possibilities allows a writer to see which may lead toward the new. Plenitude calls forth plenitude, of the world and of the mind.”

— Jane Hirshfield
Nine Gates / Entering the Mind of Poetry

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