Both the freeze-frame water drop and the “Little April Shower” song from Bambi informed my understanding of rain; they became like words in a language of seeing–a language that grows and adapts as new associations temper my conception of rain.So, what does this have to do with poetry? It is easy for us to assume that poetry is what comes after seeing: the poet sees the rain, or the heartbreak, or some poignant celebration of life, and then simply names it for the rest of us to know. In this sense, there is life and things on one side and then poetry on the other; there is the real thing and then the name of the real thing. But, as my anatomy of rain shows, there is no difference between the name of the thing and the thing itself–at least not in our heads, which really is all that we can talk about. I cannot unseen the photographed raindrop or the cartoon thunderstorm, and so, there is no way for rain to be anything other than what it is because of those representations. Those representations are the language by which I see rain.And, in that sense, they are poems. What is a poem but the true name of a thing? (For another perspective on this, read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “The Poet.”As you read the poems in this list, consider what they have to say about seeing. What is seeing? How do we see? And what is the role of poetry in letting us see?i’ve attached the list of poems to use as a reference
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