Sunday Morning

Q: Several poems in this collection speak to a desire for silence—an even bigger appetite for it than the speaker originally had thought was needed. How much silence do you usually need to write, and how do you get it?

JH: I need more and more silence, it feels. Poems don’t leap into my mind when I’m distracted, turned outward, with other people, listening to music. It’s more for me as with going into a forest: if you sit quietly for a long time, the life around you emerges. As the world grows ever more clamorous, my hunger for silence steepens. I unplug the landline.

~ Jane Hirshfield, from Of Amplitude There Is No Scraping Bottom: An Interview with Jane Hirshfield (Tin House, March 15, 2016)




  1. Just unplug all of it. There’s so much to hear in those silences.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Silence is a must for me, when it comes to writing, or at least silence from human noise. Such sounds as birdsong, the wind in the trees, and the sea or a flowing river are all most acceptable though, and not a distraction at all. So yes, I agree with Jane Hirshfield completely 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “In the very steep valleys of the past,
    And before any human had come out of the womb of earth.
    Silence found its only delight sitting under the moonlight,
    To become one with its silver stillness.

    One night, the moon got tired of Silence.
    The moon picked a rosy star from the sky and named it Beauty.
    The moon disolved Beauty
    in a cup made of Light
    and gave it, a wine, to Silence.
    Hoping Silence would get intoxicated
    and finally talk.

    When Silence got intoxicated
    He got up in stillness
    And went to his bed
    Where his wife was waiting.
    His wife was Word.

    That night
    Silence and Word made love
    And Poetry was born.

    If your heart worships the glory of Silence
    And your soul quivers with the pulse of words.
    If your eyes tear at the power of Beauty.
    Here is my poetry.
    I share it with you.

    ~ Anis Ben Ammar
    Tunisian poet and author.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Creativity usually comes without a soundtrack.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i need some noise around me when writing, the music of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Silence is good, but white noise is fine. It’s discernible music and rhythm that’s infuriating and distracting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Unplugging the landline…that’s what I try to do every weekend, to recharge my batteries and be ready to write again on Monday. Imperative.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The sound of silence resonates deeply within me, David. Cher xo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Exactly. Silence. No distractions, except maybe the sound of the wind. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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