Danish philosopher Kierkegaard once wrote, "The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and I were asked for my advice, I should reply: 'Create silence! Bring people to silence.'"Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote, “See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence ... we need silence to be able to touch souls.” And Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu, wrote, “Silence is a source of great strength.”
Amidst the hustle and bustle of our noisy world, why is silence important to you and how do you create or find it? Where do you find peaceful places where there is little or no noise to distract you (at the seashore, in the forest, in a place of worship)? What is the power of silent places? Why is a measure of silence important? Is silence important in your personal creative process?
This week, let’s look at silence and what it means to us and, then, let’s write a poem that in some way, “speaks” of silence.
Questions to Consider before Writing:
How do you define “silence?”
What does the term “perfect silence” mean to you?
How are silence and stillness related?
Can you list several places in which you have found (or continue to find) a special kind of silence?
What’s the difference between actual silence and spiritual silence?
How may silence be more powerful than a scream?
How is silence the space between two thoughts?
How does silence between the notes give music its meaning? (Does this suggest any metaphors for your poem?)
"If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence
and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework
you can still be writing, because you have that space."
– Joyce Carol Oates