The wise sushi eater takes a sliver of ginger to clear the palate, to prepare for the next piece of sushi, the next and new flavors. In the same way, a writer of fiction or nonfiction is wise to taste poetry on occasion — even bad poetry — to clear the literary palate and prepare for the next chapter or day of writing.
When my emails and text messages feel uninspired, I do little about it. When that same sickness creeps into my blog posts and long emails, I become concerned. When I see the words for my novel or short story fall limply to the page like a dead, wet leaf, I hook an I.V. of John Donne or William Shakespeare to my nearest vein.
If I were wiser, maybe I’d do this every day to avoid these trips to the emergency room. So, for the impending winter and the eager writer, I offer a dosage of Frost. May it cut through the blight of mixed flavors and refresh your palate.