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Seeing Things an Anthology of Poetry Revelations | An Early Drive to Work | Crush | Letting Go

"We see things. And sometimes we SEE things. And some of us want, or are compelled, to make things we see into words, to pursue what the words give us in sight and insight. The poet is a maker and a seer; these two dimensions of poem-making figure in the very words for poetry in many languages -- Greet poiētēs (maker) and Latin vates (seer), for instance. The word's Sanskrit ancestor is cinoti, a gathering-up, a net of words to capture the immaterial. Poem-making is anciently a material act of divination. My frient the Osage poet Carter Revard wrote, 'Sometimes ... you see into things, / I mean you see what isn't there but yet it makes / the things you CAN see have a different meaning.' Our older friend Shakespeare said that, '... as imagination bodies forth / The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen / Turns them into shapes, and gives to airy nothing / A local habitation and a name.' (A Midsummer Night's Dream) In March 2019, the writers in the Seeing Things Poetry Workshop devoted themselves to the practice of making things they can't see with words they can, at the Bright Hill Literary Center in Treadwell, New York. We were fortunate to have the library at Bright Hill for in-person meetings through mid-March 2020, when we moved online. While the change was disruptive, it allowed poets to join us from considerable distances or to play the recorded discussions after. It also let us invite poets to read in our new Tiny Desk Readings series. We were honored to inaugurate the reading series with Bright Hill's founder, Bertha Rogers, followed by Liz Rosenberg of Binghamton University. Renowned Elizabeth Bishop biographer and scholar Thomas Travisano visited both in person and online to enrich our knowledge of Bishop's work. Some of the poets in this anthology have been with the workshop for all thirty meetings; some joined later; some have participated virtually, even invisibly -- but that's how we see things!"--Robert Bensen, Introduction. Source:

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