NPG Ax7811; Ezra Pound by Alvin Langdon Coburn

Lesson no 5

From Mental pictures and visualisation to partly embody our language and
words with metamorphosis, I will now step forward to another kind of poetic
Words like “you” and “I” are real pictures of a body, a person, but also
fragments of , “hands, skin, eyes and warmth” all those mental pictures we
use as our thoughts to create a photographic experience.

Pictures in a language can also be an attempt to create a reality which is easy
to recognize, which of course is something else than the poetical transforming
of senses and its presence.

We need here a dress for the language with a good shape .
We need a strong base for reality.
And this is called a “Realistic” picture, cause there is a close relation between
the outer reality and the pictures of the verbal expression.

However it is clear that we stand in front of a poetic text.
The daily language gives a rejected place, not making it fitting into that
good shape or dress to be strong enough to survive.
And the place of “I” or “you” is not describing a reality but is mentioning a reality, which must be seen upon as lyrical.
The possibility to, in the language to imitate or visualize, is much discussed.
The word “Picture” is in itself representing, the fact of a picture(mirror) of something else.
This is leading us to the famous and misunderstood expression of Horace
“ut pictura ut poesis” “Like the picture so also the poem.” In reality the place
of Ars Poeetica referring to the fact that some pictures also paintings get a better
perspective to be seen at a distance. The format , distance and perspective must
have a chance to be allowed of some faults and inaccuracy .

This takes us to another fundamental difference between pictures and lyrics.
The art of painting and pictures are seen upon as (Spatial) a perception of space,
as the important dimension ,while poetry or lyrics are ( Temporal) and where the discursive knowledge, (discursive, from the Latin word discurrere/ running forth and back) form the thinking and the resulting dimension.
So description of pictures in poetry is not an attempt to reach the reality like in photography or paintings but to give a sensation, a recognition of feelings
and with the photographic focus, analyze the intention of the poem.

So much more is to be discussed in Lyrics and Poetry … Heavy studies
is needed, to reach the Imagist tradition of Ezra Pound in the poem “In a station of the Metro” (1913)
The poem is Pound’s, written equivalent for the moment of revelation and intense emotion he felt at the Metro at La Concorde, Paris.
“The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
petals on a wet, black bough.”(E.P.)

Or in the lovely and lyrical language as below :

“When the mind swings by a grass-blade
An ant’s forefoot shall save you
The clover leaf smells and tastes as its flower.” (E.P.)
“A Girl”.
The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast –
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world.(E.P.)

©kerstin centervall