Sunday, December 12, 2010

With feet firmly planted in the soil of New England

Ever so often you come across a book or other work of art that actually changes the way you see and experience the world. It will come as no surprise to anyone who frequents this blog that that is what attracted me to Bucky Fuller. Of course, he went for the whole enchilada and succeeded in getting me to experience Universe itself from a completely different perspective.

Bucky chose to convey many of his most important ideas using a poetry-prose form of writing that can be intimidating and frustrating at first, but if you relax and just go with the flow you soon realize that he chose that format to prevent our eyes and brains from just racing across the words and"reflexing"(instantaneously responding) to them. He sought comprehension as well as apprehension.

That's what poetry forces us (encourages us) to do as we read it. To go beyond merely apprehending and strive for comprehension.

Poet Susan Roney-O'Brien and photographer (as well as dear friend) Bruce Dean have collaborated to produce a wonderful collection of poems and photographs under the title "Earth".

After experiencing it a couple of times, I'm more convinced than ever that the first step in changing the world is changing your perspective. That's how we come to comprehend the options before us. (GW)


Poems by Susan Roney-O'Brien
Photographs by Bruce Robert Dean
Cat Rock Publishing

"Earth"encapsulates the shared visions of poet, Susan Roney-O’Brien and photographer, Bruce Dean. The conversation actually began more than twenty years ago when each artist was exploring images from the New England, and specifically Princeton, Massachusetts area in their work. While Susan was writing about raising chickens, gardening and restoring an antique farmhouse, Bruce was photographing Stimson Farm and Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary. Both worked as teachers in public schools. Susan published. Bruce exhibited.

The paired photographs and poems in this volume do not illustrate, but rather, create dialogue between the artists and their images; each interpretation was chosen to reflect and enhance the other.

Says Susan, “As you will see, most photographs were taken in this area. All poems were written here. Both of us have our feet firmly planted in the soil of New England, but sometimes, in stepping away, what is known can be seen again with fresh understanding and appreciation of our place, our time.”
"I was told once the animals will speak
but so very slow each syllable joins the next
and all sound becomes a steady breathing. I was told
that in the space of a breath, a lamb
could praise all creatures above and below his knowing,
and that the speech of beasts is like no other:
the tones so high, so sweet."

(From "Christmas Eve")


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