Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I tumbled for words at once . . .

One of my favorite pieces of writing is Dylan Thomas' "Notes on the Art of Poetry," something he wrote in the early 1950's and which has appeared in a number of different forms.  He talks about having loved words before he could even understand what they meant:  "what mattered was the sound of them . . . and these words were, to me, as the notes of bells, the sounds of musical instruments, the noises of wind, sea, and rain, the rattle of milkcarts, the clopping of hooves on cobbles, the fingering of branches on a window pane, might be to someone, deaf from birth, who miraculously found his hearing." 

 [Beautiful textures by Original Art Studio and Flypaper Textures]

I can't remember a time when I didn't love words -- like Thomas, I tumbled for them at an early age and have been tumbling for them ever since.  I hear that some people think in pictures, but I never have -- I think in words and have odd words and phrases floating in and out of my head all day, a sort of "Greatest Hits" from a lifetime of drinking words in as if they were a 15-year-old Armagnac, rolling them around on the tongue, feeling their warm glow as I take them in. At any given moment, if we were able to do a Vulcan mind-meld, you might hear echoing around in my dark cranium:

. . . Tarquin's ravishing strides . . .
. . . the multitudinous seas incarnadine . . .
. . . alabaster crematoria . . . 
. . . Westron wynde, when wilt thou blow . . . 

[Check out Watchful Wednesdays . . . ]

. . . yondir boyes in hir bryghte weedis . . . 
. . . on the most on the molde on measure hygh . . . 


Many, but not all, of my "floaters" come from Shakespeare; many, but not all, are poetry, because poetry by its very nature has a high pleasure-to-word ratio.  But I like prose, too:  "Isn't it pretty to think so" (Hemingway), "and so we beat on, boats against the current . . . " (Fitzgerald), and bits of Joan Didion have taken up permanent residence in my head.


I think photography can be equally as compelling as words, but I'm still compiling my Greatest Hits in that category.  But sometimes I feel like I'm capturing words in an image, like this one that makes me think of Ezra Pound:


[Textures by Kim Klassen and Flypaper Textures]
 
I'm sure I will write more about words as time goes on, but for now I'd like to know -- if you love words, too, what floats through your head?  Where does it come from? 

7 comments:

Bonnie said...

Oh ... I do love words ... but I am not very good at memorizing them. I love Merton, Bishop, Cummings, Rilke, Whyte. Your pairings of images with your words really strike a chord.

So glad you were able to use the texture from my free download today. Bravo - looks stunning!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks so much, Bonnie -- I don't really memorize them; they just kind of stick in my head :)

Flower Photography said...

Love the textures, they really add to the photo's. Love the composition of the water shot with the wave in the background Thank you very much for linking up :-)

Car said...

Beautiful shots

lisa said...

This is a great post Elise! I love the way Mr. Thomas describes words. Truly beautiful.
Fantastic photographs! I especially love the last one. Wonderful work on it!!

Katy Noelle said...

Elise, I really resonate with this post. I do love words - I could crawl up into them - their sound - their meaning. Sometimes, though, they horribly elude me. I think in pictures of words or words of pictures - I see words or I see in words. Someday, I'll be able to explain it. =] Well, you asked what floats through my head...

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, everyone -- Katy, I'm so pleased that you were able to stop by; I hoped you'd like it. :)