I came upon this beautiful poem about art today. It is by Elizabeth Alexander, the poet who read at Barak Obama's swearing in ceremony. It's from her book called The Light of The World; A Memoir. She wrote it shortly after her husband died unexpectedly. You can hear her read it here. Perhaps because I have recently experienced loss, this speaks to me deeply.
But I think I would have reacted to it anyway. Its that line about art trying to "capture what we know leaves us." I'm romantic about art that way, especially photography. I am always trying to capture that moment before it goes , so that I can savor it any time I like. For me, that's what its all about.
Here are Elizabeth's words:
"Art replaces the light that is lost when the day fades, the moment passes,
the evanescent extraordinary makes its quicksilver.
Art tries to capture that which we know leaves us, as we move in and out of each other's lives,
as we all must eventually leave this earth.
Great artists know that shadow, work always against the dying light,
but always knowing that the day brings new light and that the ocean washes away
all traces on the sand, leaves us a new canvas with each wave."