Friday, October 17, 2014

Kate Knapp Johnson: "Seeing, In Three Pieces"

Somehow we must see
through the shimmering cloth
of daily life, its painted,
evasive facings of what to eat,
to wear? Which work
matters? Is a bird more
or less than a man?


There have been people
who helped the world. Named
or not named. They weren't interested
in what might matter,
doubled over as they were
with compassion. Laden
branches, bright rivers.


When a bulb burns out
we just change it—
it's not the bulb we love;
it's the light.

"Seeing, In Three Pieces" by Kate Knapp Johnson, from Wind Somewhere, and Shade. © Miami University Press, 2001.

In her notes the poet dedicates this poem to the life and work of Joseph Campbell.

Art credit: "Fold Crumple," monumental sculpture of metal bottle tops by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, photograph courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA.

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