Ken Zinser



There’s something I find absolutely enchanting about animated inanimate objects, or in some cases simply non-human characters. A park bench feeling loneliness and longing for a hat-wearing old man to sit and feed the pigeons makes my brain smile.

In the chapter “Sounds” from Thoreau’s Walden Pond, there is an itty-bitty example of personification in the third paragraph: “They seemed glad to get out themselves, and as if unwilling to be brought in.” That sentence, to me, completes a wonderful image of Thoreau’s drawing room furniture “standing amid the pines and hickories.” Birds chirp and sun pours through the trees as a writer sits in a tall arm chair twitching a feather quill at a small, leather bound journal. It’s a pleasant image, a writer among nature.

So much more interesting most familiar objects look out of doors than in the house.

I know you’re supposed to introduce quotes, but I simply liked this one.