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“You should write like Pindar”

By October 1, 2021September 16th, 2022No Comments

I was in a taxi once coming home from the airport when I suddenly thought: “you should write like Pindar.” This was an odd thought to have, as I had not read much Pindar, odder still, because I was not then writing anything at all. In fact, I had quit writing many years before, having been unable to maintain both an obsession with literature and a state of general health. But I was thinking of the effect that Pindar’s style produces, which has been likened to a river that floods and bursts its banks. I recalled this strange inner exhortation as I neared the end of drafting “Sonnets to the Aten,” the sonnet sequence that is now the concluding section of Love | Source | Joy. I was fretting about the strictures of writing sonnets, and the same friend who advised me to write from the perspective of advanced forgiveness suggested that I free up my writing and “add some jazz to it.” I thought again of Pindar and decided to abandon rhyming. I would now focus more on rhythm and meter, internal sound elements, creative syntax, and flow, aiming at fluidity over perfection. In fact, beautiful imperfection would be highest achievement, as with diamonds: lab-grown diamonds have no imperfections, so, by its imperfections, we know a diamond to be natural.