James Salter & Poetic Writers

I just finished reading Light Years by James Salter. I’d never heard of the author or the book before reading this blog post:

I just finished it and it completely destroyed me. Yes, the book is about an aging couple with kids navigating life and so I’m sure it hit him harder for me - but the language is pure poetry all the way through. Paragraphs feel like molasses - rich with poetry and imagination.

So, firstly - you should read this book! It’s wonderful.

Secondly, who else writes like this? Who are your favourite authors who write poetic language? Two that spring to mind for me: Nicholson Baker and Raymond Chandler…

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Nice, I have not read any Salter, will definitely check this out.

First author that comes to mind for me is Annie Dillard. Lots of her work reads almost like prose poetry. Wonderful descriptions of nature, creativity, paying attention to the world around you… I love both these:

Another would be Calvino:

For poetic language, there are several Latin American authors I really like:

Oh, and this is another particular favorite that I haven’t seen talked about much, lots of lovely short mediations on how we experience time:

Calvino! Yes!

Haven’t read any Annie Dillard so will have to check that out for sure.

Another that springs to mind:

I read James Salter’s autobiography “Burning the Days”. You might like it.

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Not sure if this is exactly the same vibe as I haven’t read any Salter, but I love Patti Smith for her sense of poetry and drama. If you haven’t read it, Just Kids is beautiful.

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