It struck me today that I sometimes have an overwhelming urge to preserve a moment. I think this is why I would like to write poetry.
I occasionally wish I were a photographer, or that I had a photographic memory, so that I could snap and snip and file away the colour of the sky, a silhouette, the way hair falls over shoulder, flames… anythng and at any given moment. But it’s slightly more than that. It’s not only the visual image I want to preserve, although that’s good too. I find more often than not that looking at a photo brings back a memory of a moment I had otherwise forgotten. But if I were a photographer I think I’d get too caught up in creating the most perfect image rather than preserving the actual moment.
And that’s why I write poems. (I think.) I can create the image, and in fact, images plural. This incorporates then not only the visual image, but the emotion attached, the situation (or not as the case maybe – I think this is where the magic in a lot of good photography lies), and so contains so much more. It can add a history, create a myth, do all sorts of things that I personally wouldn’t be able to do with a photo – but that I don’t doubt that you can.
I want to be able to capture an entire moment, no matter how short or long, and all the thoughts, wishes and ambitions that go along with it. So it amused me when not so long ago my poems were described as such. Especially as when I was disbelieving when presented with this opinion of poetry in my first year at uni. I think it’s true. I am writing to preserve and capture the entirety of moments. Done.