How Writing Connects Us by Noa Mendoza

    We began the first day of Sarah Fontaine’s mini-unit with a prompt to write about how we, as both humans and writers, connect to other people. This got me to thinking about my most recent favorite poem, “In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver. I don’t usually read poems and then proclaim them my “favorite,” but for some reason this poem really appealed to me. I think it’s because I made a strong connection with the message (that I interpreted) of the poem and the circumstances of my life right now. What I love about the poem is that, although I identified strongly with it, I don’t think that Mary Oliver wrote the poem for anybody but herself. I think that she, like I hope to someday do with my writing, wrote the poem to express a feeling and a message that she wanted to understand for herself (not for any potential reader or critic), which also happened to convey a message that many readers, like myself, could relate to. I don’t think that the sole purpose of writing is to connect the writer to other people—at least for me, writing is a very introverted and personal activity— but I do think that, like I recently experienced with Oliver’s poem, if the writer choses to put their ideas out into the world, their personal thoughts and feelings and struggles could deeply connect with and impact somebody else.

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