January 29, 2012

Got Me Thinking

I watched the ecology segment of the PBS series Art:21 yesterday. Robert Adams, a long time photographer of the landscape of the American West said something that struck me, "photography and poetry center on metaphor."

My friend Albert often quotes a line by poet William Carlos Williams in relation to my photographs, "no idea but in things." (Before I go any further, I mean the photographs that are my art work, not necessarily the snapshots that I regularly post here. I would show you some examples of my work, but I haven't yet figured out how to use my film scanner. I generally work in series format and shoot close-ups of everyday objects that, hopefully, taken together begin to articulate an underlying concept, such as the relationship between depression and domesticity.) I have a vague notion of what Albert means by this. Very vague. So vague I am at a loss to put it into words. If I knew as much about poetry as Albert, and read as much poetry as Albert, maybe I'd have a better sense of what he means. So, to the poem from where the line originates.

A Sort of Song by William Carlos Williams

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
— through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks.

Another quote Albert shared with me recently, from Carl Jung, "The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." This was a follow-up to a message about Joseph Cornell, but readily applies to most any creative endeavor.

No comments:

Post a Comment