Diaries Magazine

Inspired by Literary Grannies: Poet Elinor Wylie - "I Love Bright Words...."

Posted on the 06 April 2015 by Juliejordanscott @juliejordanscot

Elinor I love bright words
”I love bright words, words up and singing early;

Words that are luminous in the dark, and sing;

Warm lazy words, white cattle under trees;

I love words opalescent, cool, and pearly,

Like midsummer moths, and honied words like bees,

Gilded and sticky, with a little sting.”

Elinor Wylie

I am a morning person. I am the first one awake in my house and when my children were little I trained them to be quiet when they found me at the kitchen table writing in my notebook.

“Mommy is writing her morning pages,” I told them.  It was my sacred time, as Elinor Wylie wrote, “I love bright words, words up and singing early.”

There are few writers and poets I fell in love with as much as I fell in love with Elinor Wylie. I love her writing and I love who she was as a person. It got even deeper after I visited the home of one of her beloved friends, Edna St Vincent Millay in 2013.

Steepletop and meShortly after this visit I wrote the following:

I backtracked after reaching Auesterlitz and couldn’t find my way to Steepletop. I drove back to the hamlet and telephoned, expecting to get an answering machine. Instead, I got the warm voice of Peter Bergman, the Executive Director of the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society, although I didn’t know at the time to whom I was speaking. He gave me simple directions and invited me to tour the grounds “anytime”. With my heart pounding and my passion guiding the car’s forward movement, I found myself able to experience the grandeur and silent wonder of a place I have dreamed of visiting not on my own or with a crowd. I was blessed to experience Millay’s home on a one-on-one tour with the Literary granny friendscurator. When I found more of Elinor Wylie’s work on the shelves in the store I literally shouted, “Elinor!” as the reality of their friendship wasn’t at the forefront of my mind until I took her book off the shelf.

Millay was the more famous of the two women, but she loved Elinor with a strength beyond what many ever come to know. In the home at Steepletop there is a bottle of wine meant to be shared with Elinor but instead shared by her widowed husband and Millay shortly after Wylie’s death. It has been left empty on the mantel ever since as a forever altar in honor of their friendship.

Creative friends will fuel our writing and artistry. They make the journey bearable when we are at our worst and they make the celebrations so much sweeter.

Let’s consider our creative friends in our writing today.

Questions for Writing and Contemplation:

Which people can you consistently rely on to support you creatively?

What can you actively do to find more people to nurture your artistic process?

Sentence starters:

I wish for a creative friend who….

I love words that….

In my writing life, I want people who….

Reflections for the When the Day is Nearly Over:

What creative work did you do today that you are most proud to report?

What were your areas of procrastination?

What will you change about your procrastination tomorrow?

When I think of my day as a creative whole, I will say…

To improve my artistic practice tomorrow, I will actively….

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This blog post is a part of April's Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Visit here daily in April to be inspired by literary grannies across time.


Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world.  She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist  whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Spring, 2015 and beyond.

 To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.

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