Saturday, 5 December 2015

Metaphor in the Moment

Robyn Sarah explains how poetry gives form to insignificant moments or details:
People often say my poems trigger memories of things they had long forgotten, but that isn’t what I think of myself as doing when I write. I do recognize that as a poet, I’m (among other things) a documenter of detail and a documenter of moments, whether I’m writing about the present or the past remembered—but the mere giving form to “what might otherwise be lost or forgotten”, no matter how beautifully one records or describes it, is not enough to make a poem. The real question is why do these “seemingly insignificant” moments or details from the past come back to us? Or, if we are talking about present time, why do we notice the particular little things we do? I believe the details that catch our attention, or the moments that come back to us unbidden and insistently, do so because they are not insignificant. They have a metaphoric weight for us. They signify, in a language that the unconscious knows, though the conscious mind may not. What haunts us is not the moment but the metaphor in the moment.