Photo Essay

This is Not a Nature Poem

juvenile northern mockingbird

Mary Ruefle states in her book of collected lectures on poetry ("Madness, Rack, and Honey" ) that "Robert Frost never wrote a nature poem." Robert Frost was quoted as saying "Unless you are educated in metaphor, you are not safe to be let loose in the world."

As a writer and a photographer I want to create work that resonates on a metaphorical level. I try to search for, and listen to those spaces that form a bridge between our inner and outer worlds. These photographs became the basis for the following poem "Mimus polyglottos". It appears in The Buffalo News today as the poem of the week.

As I worked with these photographs I had to ask myself, what is in these pictures that is speaking to me? Why are they nudging me to pause and pursue them in language?

The answer lies in the art of metaphor -- those savory and sweet connections that help us to understand ourselves through Nature, that deepen our grasp of this life and support us in myriad ways on our journey. I don't know that I could live without metaphor and I take Robert Frost's comment to heart as a photographer who steps into her world with eyes wide open. I want to feel as if my efforts are worthy of being let loose. Being let loose, in all its forms and fancies.

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2 responses

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (19 Nov 2012):

    Karen !!! Nice overall... Vote!!!

  • Karen Lee Lewis

    Karen Lee Lewis said (19 Nov 2012):

    Thanks very much Saroj!

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