Thread: Painting Poems
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:30 AM View Post #5 (Link)
lalodragon (Offline)
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Replying to the last bit about babies born without senses, I've got this ethically unsound but enlightening experiment. In sum: If you sew a kitten's eye shut when it is born, but then open it 3 weeks later, it never gains vision in that eye. If you expose a kitten to ONLY horizontal lines from birth, it will have no perception of vertical lines when you introduce them to it as an adult.

What does this have to do with imagery? It suggests that the brain deals with new input by comparing it to old input. It suggests that concepts we've never experienced are hard or impossible to grasp; we need some basis. Maybe we can put multiple pieces together: having been exposed to horizontal and vertical lines, we can understand squares. Maybe we can put together an abstraction like "love" by compiling all the ways it's been presented to us-- family, friends, depictions in television and literature. But the further we delve into that abstraction, the more we return to the familiar, the sharper the picture gets. "brotherly love" is something more specific than "love," and maybe therefore clearer. "Brother" is concrete. We can create an image of the love we mean, maybe, by talking about someone's brother.
Often imagery seems to just be a way of being specific and returning to familiar sights that are easier to perceive.

And this may be a nod to what poets can do without figurative language. The poem in my sig doesn't involve any, but it's strong, isn't it? The words are specific.

"Is" may not conjure an image, but that lack of an image is infinity in a way; for this reason, "I am that I am" is the most interesting name of god.

But none of this actually touches on the original image in this thread, Pound's. He wasn't taking something we can't sense and turning it into something tangible. Lakes are tangible enough, air is tangible enough. So the next question has to be, why do we link multiple tangible things? What are we adding? Why isn't naming enough?

Not that we've answered the previous question or that any of my thoughts are accurate.
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