Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The art of poetry



   "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." Carl Jung

   Borges had a fascination for mirrors. Mirrors and labyrinths. Perhaps a mirror symbolizes something that connects human  beings. No matter how different we are, we all experience joy, pain, sadness, fear. Sometimes art can be like a mirror. It can reflect your emotions and experiences.
         The pictures I added to accompany this poem are snapshots of the upper Mississippi River (I took them myself). The only one that looks like an abstract painting --the one at the bottom of this post -- is a picture of  Wisconsin River.

The Art of Poetry

To gaze at a river made of time and water  
and remember that time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces go by like water.

To feel that waking is another dream                        
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.                                                                                    
                                               

To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and of his years,
and to convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound and a symbol.


To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness -- such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.

Sometimes in the evening there's a face                
that looks at us from the deep of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror
revealing to each of us our face.

    Jorge Luis Borges (fragment)

31 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos, very evocative. Your poem sounds quite pensive and profound. I enjoy poetry too.

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    1. Thanks, Madeleine. It's nice to meet somebody with a similar sensitivity. Welcome.

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  2. Lovely pictures and lovely words - they go so well together my friend :)

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  3. Beautiful post, Julia. Great work with the photography!

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    1. Thanks, Nellie. I'm learning from you...

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  4. Good metaphor for art. And there are different kinds of mirrors.

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    1. Good point, Richard. There are different kinds of mirrors.
      My favorite stanza is the one that says that death is a dream and that poetry is humble and immortal, and that it returns like dawn and the sunset...

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  5. Oh Julia, that poem makes me want to go to sleep, and also it almost moved me to tears. You have such talent, and a great photographer. I want to write a story about water, can I use the top picture as a guide please, I don't mean copy it, more, gain inspiration from it? I could link back to it on your blog if you like when it's done. In a week or so.

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    1. Of course, you can use it, sure. It is very inspiring. This poem by Borges is very profound. Thank you for expressing your own thoughts and emotions here, Susan.

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  6. I love the poem and your pictures. They really go together well to enhance the effect.

    The Jung quote is interesting, too. In the same vein, I've noticed that people can be highly critical of a flaw they perceive in others without being aware of that same flaw within themselves.

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    1. Yes, Susan. I've noticed this too. Thanks for pointing it out. This is called "projection" in psychology.

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  7. A beautiful poem and photos, Julia. It's the sort of poem you want to keep going back to so as to appreciate it on all levels. I also think mirrors and labyrnths are fascinating. Thanks for sharing, it's a lovely post.

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    1. Thanks, Sharon. I may write an additional post to reflect on this poem and another one I posted by Borges.

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  8. Beautiful poetry by Borges, I love the imagery. Julia, thank you! Art is a reflective medium, and art can definitely be like a mirror. Lovely snapshots of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers.

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    1. Thanks, Jersey. The poem goes beyond this message, though. I'm still wondering if I should write about this.

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  9. Hi Julia .. it's another subject I'd like to know more about - poetry ... but I do like the mirrors, reflections and rivers of life - can read lots into that and visualise the clear streams, or the muddy waters ..

    Interesting ... and I love your photos - also the Wisconsin one .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Just enjoy it the way you do it with music... thank you Hilary.

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  10. Beautiful pics to go with beautiful and profound words!
    Take care
    x

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  11. Hi Julia and apologies for only getting to your wonderful blog now. Yes, I remember it was sleep referred to as a "little death" or death referred to as a long or perfect sleep. They are powerful metaphors that serve to remind us every day of our whole life in context. You will see that in 'Life Cycles' I use a 'symbolic day' to represent either 2 years or 12 years, so my sleeps can be either 1 year or six years.

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    1. What an interesting remark Neil.
      I will read it...

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  12. Great pictures. Great poetry. Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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    1. Thanks JJ. Happy belated Fourth of July.

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  13. Hi Julia,

    Ah poetry, music of the soul. This thoughtful posting and your wonderful photos, encapsulates the ambience so well.

    Thank you for this, Julia.

    Poetic wishes, your way,

    Gary

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    1. Thank you for reading it, Gary. There is so much meaning behind those words. I could write a post about each line.

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  14. Julia
    A friend introduced me to Borges some years back. I love his name.... Jorge (George in English) and I like saying "Horgay" more so than George. Nice flowing water pictures. Over the weekend, my son and I walked along a river and it was country, green peaceful. I took a little video snippet but doubt if I'll ever use it.

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    1. Hi Manzanita. You should share the video then. I'd love to see it.
      The metaphor of the river is based on Heraclitus quote. Heraclitus compared time with a river when he said, "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man".
      So Borges points this out through his metaphor. He refers to the ephemeral nature of experiences. Then he consoles himself stating that poetry is immortal. He finds solace in poetry because it is immortal.

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