August 19, 2010 § 1 Comment
But (see previous post) there is also something to be said for describing a subject as clearly as possible. The poet Charles Simic says there are two kinds of poets, those “with eyes open” and those “with eyes closed.” The first poet sees what is going on in the world and engages with it directly. The second poet pays more attention to what is going on inside his or her head and gives us poems that come from the imagination, rather than observation. I’m always interested in that continuum, although I more often go toward the “eyes closed” end, as seen in the “AOL Cam” post. One of the most interesting passages in the history of photography is the efforts of the pictorialists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to break away from the notion that the camera is only capable of recording true facts. They wanted to acknowledge the role of the imagination and be photographers “with eyes closed.” That is the path I have followed more often than not.
But sometimes it’s fun to go over to the other side. This is upstate New York. About 10 miles south of the Canadian border. Just off I81. As Kerouac said, “an anywhere road for anybody anyhow.”