4 June 2009

Your inner fish

Whatever a poem is meant to be, the mind has a greater store of images. As the inner eye visualizes one, hundreds others flit by. The poet selects a part she is certain of (for being interesting or precisely right for the poem and, for that reason, exciting) and that part invokes other memories, other images. Sometimes in the midst of the new memory, the poet can recall a lost fragment of the original shadow or water memory.

To make the retrieval effort more personal or, to some, valuable, one may tell oneself that the recaptured piece of memory is equivalent to fact. Maybe only the poet saw it, but the poet was there; and, furthermore, its not having been seen by others makes it all the more unforgettable to the seer.
from The Poet's Inner Eye: Carol Frost discusses The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop.

The Goliath grouper, or Jewfish.

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