Poem-like Prose of the Week, by Annie Dillard

My poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.

In order of preference, here are my spoons. 1. The wood-handle spoon. 2. The all-silver spoon. 3. The red spoon. 4. The green spoon. 5. The blue spoon. (The Chinese spoon doesn’t count because I only use it for soup.)

I detest the blue spoons, but they are the ones I use. Save the other spoons, Alison! I think whenever I open the silverware drawer. Save them for later!

Why? We have plenty. What am I saving them for? So on my deathbed I can look back and think, Super job not using your favorite spoons all those years, Allie!

How many times I’ve written an entire novel, hoarding the mystery or my most cherished lines until the end, because…I’m scared I’ll run out? I won’t run out. None of us will. Recognizing this fear and rejecting it is why I’ve had to rewrite many an entire book, so as to give, give it all, give it now.

I don’t want to open my safe at the end of my life and find ashes.

Excerpt from Write Till You Drop, by Annie Dillard (prose rearranged into poem-ish lines by me)

Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all,
right away, every time.

Do not hoard what seems good
for a later place in the book, or
for another book;
            give it, give it all, give it now.

The impulse to save something good
for a better place later is the signal to
            spend it now.  
Something more will arise
for later, something better.

These things fill from behind,
            from beneath,
            like well water.

Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself
what you have learned is not only
            shameful, it is

Anything you do not give freely and
abundantly becomes lost to you.

You open your safe and find ashes.

For more information about Annie Dillard, please check out her website.
Words by Winter: my podcast