I have actually not read any of Ezra Pound’s work, which I shall try my best to mend, but I do have a quote of his in the endless library of my brain that I ended up digging through I bunch of old quote books so that I could repeat in properly. (Since I knew of it but couldn’t remember exactly what he said.) Anyway:
"The proper METHOD for studying poetry or good letters is the method of contemporary biologists, that is the careful first-hand examination of the matter and the continual COMPARISON of a ‘slide’ or specimen with another."
- Ezra Pound The ABC of Reading
This is the quote, including the capitalized words; that is exactly the way it looked on the photocopied paper that I was studying in a seminar class back in high-school. It’s one of my favorite quotes because it gives a little credit to my method and style of reading/writing, as I’ve always been much more of a scientist then an artist even though I consider myself a variation of both.
Studying writing has a recipe to it that I’m consciously aware of whenever I am about to critique another’s work. Of course, there’s a personal style in every piece, but there is also talent and skill involved and I suppose the only way to grow as a writer is to study previous masters of the science/art, become aware of the ‘recipe’ involved with a particular type of story or poem and then study your own work to see where there is room for growth.
And talent, of course, is where the imagination comes in and helps your writing essentially evolve into something that is uniquely you. This is probably more important then studying and acquiring skill since the last thing that I consider real writing in a copy-cat "artist."