Monday, December 11, 2006

Postcards and Poetry

The Dove
I saw the dove come down, the dove with the
green twig, the childish dove out of the storm and
flood. It came towards me in the style of the Holy Spirit
descending. I had been sitting in a cafe for twenty-five
years waiting for this vision. It hovered over the great
quarrel. I surrendered to the iron laws of the moral universe which
make a boredom out of everything desired. Do not surrender,
said the dove. I have come to make a nest in your shoe. I
want your step to be light.

-- Leonard Cohen
From "Death of a Lady's Man" (1978)

Another poem from the wondering minstrels. I like this because it kind of reminds me of being a parent - those days where all these miracles happen in front of you and you're blissfully happy but there's a part of you that's a little bit can give in to the boredom or you can choose bliss.

More poems (kind of). Martin brought these postcard secrets to my attention. Some of them are funny, some beautiful and some almost made me cry. There's an article about it in the Age here. The site's heartbreaking, and don't go in there if you can't cope with feeling a wide range of human emotions in one minute. But I think it's a beautiful thing, anonymity can open the heart and sharing secrets can show how profound and sometimes how profoundly unprofound the most closed centre of the human heart is.

Frank Warren's description of his role as caretaker (from the Age article) is similar to how I feel reading through the unsolicited manuscripts which represent an enormous investment on the part of the writer, often very raw and personal.
Warren says his role is to be "the caretaker ... it's my responsibility to choose secrets others want to see." So the ones he posts on the website "are secrets that surprise me, that I haven't seen before, speaking in a voice I recognise. I select secrets that show the full breadth of our humanity ... secrets that are humorous, sexual, joyful, remorseful."

So why do I call them a poem? Here's another extract from the Age article. To me it describes exactly what a good poem should do:
But the space constraints of the postcard, he now realises, are integral to the concept's success. It forces "revealers" to be brief, witty and clear in their message. Yet it also means that those of us reading the book or viewing the website have to bring our own experiences into play so we can imagine what the other person is going through.

"These are conversations which reveal our humanity in a new way," Warren insists. "They allow us to discover truth and beauty and poetry in places we don't normally look for it."

1 comment:

  1. Had a look at the postsecrets blog... liked it! If only I actually HAD secrets...!