Here are a couple quotes I found scribbled in one of my notebooks today. Interesting food for thought on a gray Monday afternoon while I'm working on my novel and struggling with all these literal, clunky words. (Sorry, I don't know what books I found these in. Maybe Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Arctic Dreams, respectively?)
Words cannot embody; they can only describe. But a certain kind of artist, whom we will distinguish from others as a poet rather than a prose writer, despises this fact about words or his medium, and continually brings words as near as he can to an illusion of embodiment.
The mind can imagine beauty and conjure intimacy. It can find solace where literal analysis finds only trees and rocks and grass.