Guest poem sent in by Jade
(Poem #1283) The Discovery of Daily Experience
It is a whisper. You turn somewhere, hall, street, some great even: the stars or the lights hold; your next step waits you and the firm world waits- but there is a whisper. You always live so, a being that receives, or partly receives, or fails to receive each moment's touch. You see the people around you- the honors they bear- a crutch, a cane, eye patch, or the subtler ones, that fixed look, a turn aside, or even the brave bearing: all declare our kind, who serve on the human front and earn whatever disguise will take them home. (I saw Frank last week with his crutch de guerre.) When the world is like this- and it is- whispers, honors or penalties disguised- no wonder art thrives like a pulse wherever civilized people, or any people, live long enough in a place to build, and remember, and anticipate; for we are such beings as interact elaborately with what surrounds us. The limited actual world we successively overcome by fictions and by the mind's inventions that cannot be quite arbitrary (and hence do reflect the actual), but can escape the actual (and hence may become art).
I was reading 'Writing the Australian Crawl', a book William Stafford had written on the subject of writing poetry, when this poem (among many others) caught my eye. As he says in the book "This attitude toward the immediate experience of the world may indicate why in planning to consider writing I reminded myself to be alert, to be aware of the nowness of things- the feel of the day, the temperature, the kind of room, the people, what they said" (47.) He is discussing the concept of art in this chapter and in this poem. Every little object or attitude that someone can become art. An artist must be keen to the details of their surroundings, and I believe that Stafford encompasses that theme well in this poem. Jade Links: Here's a biography and bibliography: http://www.lclark.edu/~krs/archive.html