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Pen and Sword in Accord

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by Stuart Robbins

Aiki News #26 (August 1977)

The following article was prepared with the kind assistance of Kevin Saunders of Hong Kong.

I

To the poet, all is perspective. Alone in his cave, he dedicates himself to the evocation of this idea, the words flowing from his heart, through the pen, to the paper. When his supply of ink runs dry, he has his blood which flows smoothly through his pen.

Every writer confronts himself with the characters he creates. This constant duel between writer and subject often results in stalemate, occasionally in victory/defeat. The Turning Point in each confrontation is the subtle process when the character becomes real and battles his creator for independence.

In solitude, he creates imaginary adversaries, skilfully arming them with the perpetual energy of a metaphor. In the words of his verse, the writer must be vanquished. His self-renewal is the paradox each poet faces as he fills his pen with his own blood and begins to write—-he knows that his life depends upon the power of his words, upon the ability of his own characters to defeat him.

II

There are many kinds of warriors: the warriors of lust and fortune are blind on one side, they see only what their swords can easily cut, and they die because of their limited perspective, from the blade they never saw. The warriors of lust (strength) and fortune (luck) fight with a fingertip grasp of a cliff, as if their life depends of the long fall ahead.

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