An interview with the Canadian writer Robert Bringhurst by Evan Jones (HERE) in The Manchester Review.
Good carpenters get interested in wood. They stop thinking of it as board feet of lumber and start to see it as tissue – living tissue whose life has been arrested and whose form has been, for a while at least, preserved. They start to collaborate with the wood instead of simply sawing it up and nailing it back together. That’s how I try to work with wood myself, and that’s the way I like to work with language. Few things interest me less than regular picket fences or purely formalist verse, but sensual and intellectual pleasure both interest me a lot. A good piece of carpentry makes you want to reach out and touch it. A good piece of writing makes you want to say the words aloud, to feel them in your mouth and in your mind. That’s not everything in life, but it’s a part of what I’m after.
Image shows Left: A Haida wooden comb representing the bear. Top Right: A Tlingit wooden pipe in the form of a Killer whale. Bottom Right: A Haida `soul-case' carved from bone and inlaid with abalone shell. From HERE.