Saturday, January 03, 2015


This is a sketch I made on the trip to Greece. It shows the pattern of windows 
on part of the Fata Morgana, where we stayed on the lovely uncrowded island of Folegandros.

 I went looking for windows because I wanted to use another picture of ducks on the blog tonight and couldn't allow myself to. Yesterday I discovered a series of window poems by Wendell Berry. There are 27 of them, and they are not brief, like haiku or tanka, or even sonnets, but each one is well developed, and they differ quite a bit in theme and length, while keeping a thread to the idea of a window. Some, like the one below recount personal experience, while others consider larger issues of peace, life and war. I like them a lot, and found that I also had taken many pictures of windows in the past dozen years and uploaded many of them to FLICKR, the photo-saving website. I could probably do a month's blogging just on windows. Here is one of Wendell Berry's window poems.

Window Poems

For a night and a day
his friend stayed here
on his way across the continent,
In the afternoon they walked 
down from Port Royal
to the river, following
for a while the fall of Camp Branch
through the woods,
then crossing the ridge
and entering the woods again
on the valley rim. They talked
of history--men who saw visions
of crops where the woods stood
and stand again, the crops
gone. They ate the cold apples
they carried in their pockets.
They lay on a log in the sun
to rest, looking up
through bare branches at the sky.
They saw a nuthatch walk
in a loop on the side of a tree
in a late patch of light
while below them the Lexington
shoved sand up the river,
her diesels shaking the air.
They walked along trees
across ravines. Now his friend
is back on the bighway, and he sits again
at his window. Another day.
During the night snow fell.

Wendell Berry

New Collected Poems, Counterpoint, 2013, page 98.

Another task for myself: use windows or doorways as entrance points into matters that interest me,
or are important to me in some way. Tear out of a magazine or take a picture of a window or door (looking in or looking out) not in my own house and write more than one poem on whatever meditating on this picture suggests. Do the same with a picture of, or framed by, a window in my own dwelling. Compare the results after having written several pieces of each kind.

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