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Is there a new way of seeing?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

I enjoy listening to poetry podcasts. The only down side is often I have to stop them half way and start writing. I find myself dreaming up new ideas from comments made about other poems. Recently I was listening to Kevin Young and Ben Purkert discussing Jorie Graham’s poem ‘Notes on the Reality of Self’. All of sudden I heard Ben say, ‘Is there a new way of seeing and somebody forgot to tell me?’. I stopped in my tracks. Imagine, a new way of seeing? What would that mean? Many of us have been locked up, locked down and then let out, recaptured, released over the past few months.

Take a moment to think of any closing down moments you have had.

Jot some notes down. Any images or sensations that come to your mind associated with these. Maybe there are photos you can take in your home or nearby which capture this for you.

Now take a moment to think of the opening up moments. Again note images, sensations. Maybe go out if you can, take time to notice everything. Take photos of the small things you see and the larger ones you notice.

Often the shutting down reminds us of other closings, endings, enclosings. Note these resonances. And the same for the opening up.

I would suggest free writing. Let these images take you where they will. Follow them. They may lead you back in time or around in circles. Just follow the thoughts.

When you finish writing, underline the parts which stand out for you. What form does the piece want to take? Two line stanzas? A series of Haiku? Longer stanzas with more detail in each? Let each moment exist fully and completely as you experienced it. In the final draft the connections will form themselves.

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1 Comment

RachaeI l Stanley
RachaeI l Stanley
Jul 08, 2020

I enjoyed this Fiona, and this is amazing sychronicity. Before I even got to this piece, I wrote a poem today on the desire to strip away layers of memory , mental concepts and conditioning and just see things exactly as they are.

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