In the shop talk that Sam Ace presented before a reading by C. D. Wright at The Poetry Center on the Campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. He presented us with a copy of “C.D. Wright–An Autobiographical Preface, written by Wright and published in FURTHER ADVENTURES WITH YOU published by Carnegie-Mellon University Press in 1986. I think it can be found here .
A quote for that work was presented to the shop talk group.
“In my work I’m led by my senses but I understand practical matters.” Sam Ace wanted to start our discussion with this thought. His audience sat in rapt silence. A few nodded their heads. As I thought about this quote, it seemed so obvious. Aren’t we all led by our senses? How else can one learn, except through the senses. But then I got to thinking that the senses that pull each person and the ones that each person is most comfortable with differs from person to person. Each person in the room probably thought of that quote in a different way. Each bringing their background and history to the meaning of senses. Many people are drawn to what something looks like. Or the sense of sight is what is strongest for them. Wasn’t there something about being visual learners? And people who learn better by sound, auditory learners? But the important thing is that using our senses is what allows us to be living, to feel alive. Isn’t it when we are taking in information through our senses, when our senses are stimulated, that we feel most alive? Exhilaration is experienced through the senses. The difficult prospect for the poet is how to translate that feeling to words, and then of course, to find someone who is willing to listen and experience the feeling too.
Now all I have to do is figure out what those practical matters are. How can having senses, and being led by them not be practical? If you have an answer for that, I’d love to hear your opinion.