Saturday, April 4, 2020
Art Hides - Finding Poetry in the Moments
"So I'll tell you a secret instead:
In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them."
-- Naomi Nye
The idea of the art all around us has been on my mind lately, as I force myself to regularly get up from the desk, where I seem to be endlessly sitting through a schedule of Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings in between trying to plan a quarter worth of learning about rhetoric into a couple accessible online assignments a week, and I wander the house and the perimeter of the yard. There is art everywhere. It's in the workouts we are doing, the mind-boggling math equations my son leaves scribbled on papers strewn across the coffee table, the snippets of FaceTime conversations I hear my wife and daughter having with friends, the books on the shelves that I haven't noticed for years but now spend an inordinate amount of time browsing, the lazily graceful movements of our betta fish flitting through the plants in his bowl, ... even the strange and surreal newscasts we occasionally (or habitually) succumb to.
Thinking about that beautiful poem from Naomi Nye has reminded me to look back to the poetry of William Carlos Williams who dared us to Dance Russe, or to perhaps find a bit of art in a note left on the kitchen table with some pondering about someone's intention to eat some plums. Williams and his style of Objectivism (which might perhaps simply be an extension of Pound's Imagism) seemed to find the poetry in the natural cadence of our lives, much as Walt Whitman had done fifty or so years before. The artists have always sought to bring our attention to that which we might naturally overlook, even if it's something as simple as how colors and textures work with and against each other in a really funky and cool piece of abstract art.
But since you might have some extra time on your hands, look for it.