Thursday, April 12

Poetry Thursday: words conjure more than meaning

Although my post for today is not in the form of a poem, it is about poetry -- visual poetry. This is an illustration of one of the ways I mix poetry (the written kind) with other senses in my mind and body. I wrote this post for the PT writing prompt, The Body Knows ...


Imagine a word such as moon. When you say moon, your lips curve. The word itself has curves. It conjures: round and old, and traveling on a long, slow-sounding journey. It's interesting to me, that along with the sound of a word, the visual aspect of the word affects its meaning.

As a sculptor, I'm fascinated by the shapes of language and as a writer I'm drawn to the meaning of shapes. This is a natural merging of two of my primary interests. Fragments of an Ancient Poetry is a three-dimensional page of my sketchbook-journal, revealing the increasingly refined and complex strokes of a thought process, or poetic idea.

--excerpted from artist's statement for Fragments of an Ancient Poetry

Newspaper announcement, left, of a solo exhibit of my mixed media sculptures in 1987 at the Third Eye Gallery in Helena, Montana. A friend shot these photos at the opening reception. I completed the majority of the pieces shown in this exhibit (along with some working studies, sketches and paintings also exhibited) while attending a papermaking intensive at the Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

The other major piece in the exhibit is titled Sometimes Breathing Feels like Dancing (one of ten figures in that piece is shown, left)

I'm 20 years older now. Maybe 20 years wiser, though that's arguable. As I revisit my artist's statements and photographs of my work from that period of my life, I realize I have a different perspective now. I hope it's a broader perspective. I still love these pieces and wish we lived in a house with walls large enough to display them.
I look at the figures in "Sometimes Breathing Feels like Dancing." I see my youthful body bent gracefully, supplely, just like the willow branches I used to form the dance. My life has taken some twists and turns ... in many ways I am still dancing with life. And death. With joy. And sorrow. And grief. Feeling the grace along with twinges of pain, love, longing ... feeling bent, slightly dried out, though still beautiful.
Will I ever truly know the steps of this dance? Enough to look ahead, to feel confident that I will not trip over my own feet? That I will be able to glide over the dance floor without regret, with my heart open to the music, to the senses, to the love of the one whose body sways in rhythm with mine?
Looking back on the experiences that have brought me to this threshold, I would also say, that "Sometimes Dancing Feels like Breathing."

This week's prompt for PT was to start with one line of someone else's poem, for inspiration, as a springboard, as a threshold to your own verse. Please head over to Poetry Thursday website for links to other participants' poems for this week.


Princess Haiku said...

I loved this post; engaging subject and beautifully written. I am going to add you to my link list and come back.

maureen said...

it's been awhile since you commented on this post, Princess ... I just found your comment, and already I notice you have been coming to my writing and leaving comments all over the place. thanks so much -- it's always really great to know people are reading my blog, to get feedback. Helps make the big "void" of blog silence more bearable. I mean all the ones who read and don't ever comment. It's okay that people do that - just not as much fun for me, nor as satisfying as having an actual conversation.

parolee said...

You know how sometimes we stumble on a post/blog narrating our personal journey? That's what I felt anyway upon reading yours. "Sometimes Breathing Feels Like Dancing" or "Sometimes Dancing Feels Like Breathing" - sometimes slow, sometimes fast, solo, partnered or aided(with a breathing tube, confusing. . . .And, yes, I've tripped over a few times trying to dance the 'Swan LAke'. Apparently, I got "2 left feet". Didn't suit me.

Cheers n' nun bless, parolee