The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

February 12, 2014

Sonnet For a Writer

Will plagiarists ever grasp the glory?

Far rather would I search my chaff for grain
And cease at last with hunger in my soul,
Than suck the polished wheat another brain
Refurbished till it shone, by art's control.
To stray across my own mind's half-hewn stone
And chisel in the dark, in hopes to cast
A fragment of our common self, my own,
Excels the mimicry of sages past.
Go forth, my soul, in painful, lonely flight,
Even if no higher than the earthbound tree,
And feel suffusion with more glorious light,
Nor envy eagles their proud brilliancy.
Far better to create one living line
Than learn a hundred sunk in fame's recline.
                                -- James A. Emanuel (1921-2013)

A Conversation With James A. Emanuel. (Video by Joseph Langley.)


  1. I enjoyed those words, Naomi. Needed words every writer would be well served to post next to their typing machine of choice.

    1. Something about that line "suck the polished wheat another brain refurbished" - it mesmerizes me. So vivid.