"many, if not most, children exhibit an early talent for art or science, even intellection; but we can never predict the one whose youthful giftedness will blossom not into a pastime, but a driving need, the kind that determines the course of one's creative work, the driving need occurs when the talent is exercised, the possessor of it finds that she or he is struck to the heart (not a thing that happens simply because one has talent) and a sense of expressive existence flares into BRIGHT LIFE. that experience is incomparable. it induces the conviction of inner clarity that quickly becomes the very thing that one can no longer do without. If it can be done without, it usually is..."

yes, in honor of my son turning nine today, a little compilation of quotes kinda regarding children and creativity. (i might add that my son's style of vomiting this week was clearly abstract expressionism.....)
"and that is how it stayed in my mind for good, that i-- am just incidental, that a good ear--comes from god. That preserved me both from self praise and from self doubt, FROM ANY SELF LOVE IN ART since a good ear comes from god. only the effort is yours, because every gift from god can be ruined, mother would say above my four year old head, that clearly wasn't taking it all in and because of that was already taking it all in so deeply there would ne no way of getting it out later. and if i didn't ruin that good ear of mine, not only did not ruin it myself, but did not let life ruin it and kill it either (and how it tried!) this too is a debt i owe to mother. if mothers would say incomprehensible things to their children more often, the children once they grew up, would not only understand but would act more decisively, there's no need to explain anything to a child, a child needs to be-- spellbound. and the darker the words of the spell, the deeper they grow into the child, the more irrevocably they act in him." (tsvetaeva)
me (on the phone) (indeterminate age): "so, what are you gonna do? go out for cocktails?"
lyana (age 7): "mama, what ahw cocktails?"
mia (age 9) : "i know. they are, like, wine with long feathers in it."
"that people were manifold creatures didn't come as a surprise to the swede, even if it was a bit of a shock to realize it anew when someone let your down. What was astonishing to him was how people seemed to run out of their own being, run out of whatever the stuff was that made them who they were and, drained of themselves, turn into the sort of people they would once have felt sorry for. It was as though while their lives were rich and full they were secretly sick of themselves and couldn't wait to dispose of their sanity and their health and all sense of proportion so as to get down to that other self, the true self, who was a wholly deluded fuckup. It was as though being in tune with life was an accident that might sometimes befall the fortunate young but was otherwise something for which human beings lacked any real affinity. How odd. And how odd it made him seem to himself." (roth)
happy birthday, avgustyn! my fortunate beautiful son!

Originally Published: October 19th, 2008

A first-generation Ukrainian American, Olena Kalytiak Davis grew up in Detroit and was educated at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan Law School, and Vermont College. Davis’s poetry collections include And Her Soul Out of Nothing (1997), selected by Rita Dove for the Brittingham Prize in Poetry, and shattered...

  1. October 20, 2008
     Gary B. Fitzgerald

    "...(i might add that my son's style of vomiting this week was clearly abstract expressionism.....)"
    So, are you saying that Jackson Pollock was, like, puky?

  2. October 23, 2008

    Maisie called Jackson Pollock at the Metropolitan this week "Big Messy Painting." High praise from a 21-month old. She also said a green Barnett Newman with two vertical brown zips was a "tree! tree!"
    She yells "wine! wine! yummy!" in the liquor store.
    Before I had a kid I swore I would never make cute-baby testimonials. Oh well.

  3. October 23, 2008
     Gary B. Fitzgerald

    Well...they do say that poets are born, not made. Looks like you got one.
    (especially the wine part) :-)

  4. October 23, 2008

    > "tree! tree!"
    > "wine! wine!"
    Toddlers are natural imitators of Joe Ceravolo:
    "Oak oak! like like..."