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Katlin Profile
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Early Rooms


A recent discussion in Ateliers reminded me of an essay by Jane Hirshfield on the topic of studio space/studio thinking:

"A studio is a place felt safe enough for changing inside of. It can be as tiny as a beach cabana whose modesty door goes down only so far as the knees. Outside, the feet of others pass by, some bare and sandy, some sneakered, others in thin white rubber thongs. Inside, sweatshirts, pants, wet bathing suits smelling of salt water and mildew, your own awkward and slightly ridiculous body. I have not been in or thought of such a space—it can hardly be called a room—for 40 years now. But this is what studio-thinking does: throws light outward, in every direction of place and time. A studio, like a poem, is an intimacy and a freedom you can look out from, into each part of your life and a little beyond."

You can read the rest of the essay here:

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Dec/30/2009, 9:45 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: Early Rooms


Aw Kat, you always bring the perfect thing.

Thanks,

Chris
Dec/30/2009, 3:12 pm Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Early Rooms


Yes, it sure is the perfect thing. It evokes a lot in me. Such as visiting El Greco's studio. You couldn't go inside. But you could look inside through the grates that served as a door. A large apartment room with a large, very large window facing west and looking over the plains of Castille from its mountain top city-fortress of Toledo. I think he lived there too. Then there are all the rooms, apartments, and cottages I've rented over the years that have been my studio space. I remember a wifer once wanting me to let out a studio elsewhere from our home. I tried it, took space in a huge loft belonging to an old warehouse, got there with desk and chair, came back home in the afternoon with the same. The space felt strange and estranging.

An artist's space is not just a place for spilling out, threading through, getting submerged in idea. It is that little smelly cave, smelling of animal habitation, that grounds the artist sensually. For me at least.

And it occurs to me with a chuckle, what woman or partner in her right mind would want to live in an artist's studio? Well, there you have it. It also occurs to me I could be describing a family trait. Could be genetic.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Dec/30/2009, 8:11 pm
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Patricia Jones Profile
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Re: Early Rooms


Kat, thanks so much for [sign in to see URL] was so good to read this for [sign in to see URL] that [sign in to see URL] timing is perfect for posting this post-holidays.

As usual, during the whole month of December, I have not set foot in my "studio space" to [sign in to see URL] I need to do to stay sane... but like her essay [sign in to see URL]'s studio can be as small as a pillow (before a computer)... a Delectable Mountain. : ) As my mentor and old friend said, "you don't have to be at the easel to [sign in to see URL] big part of it is taking it all in, sifting and sorting it before you start".

In that sense, a studio can be anywhere you have a moment to observe and think.

Pat

---
"Don't you worry--I ain't evil, I'm just bad".
~Chris Smither~
Dec/31/2009, 12:57 am Link to this post Send Email to Patricia Jones   Send PM to Patricia Jones
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Early Rooms


More JH from a recent interview:

When I start to write, I’m not a guide or teacher; I’m not even a poet. I’m a person far out at sea, and the poem is a raft made of whatever floats past in the water. Those almost accidental rescuing pieces are words, rhythms, musics, ideas, the memory that is mine and the memory that is all of ours and the memory that is held in language itself. The experience of writing, for me at least, isn’t confidence or wisdom; it’s closer to desperation. You are naked as Odysseus when he’s lost his ship and all his men, before he’s met by the courageous young girl Nausicaa—a version perhaps of the rescuing muse, who helps us find our way back into the world shared with others but only if we bring our own resourcefulness to the situation as well. There is some faint memory that this raft business has worked before, some memory of knot-tying, of the intention to live. There is that in us that recognizes: “this is water; this is land.” A poem is land found, as if for the first time. If I already knew what it would hold, I wouldn’t need the poem, and if what it holds were knowable by any other words or way, I wouldn’t need the poem.
 
There’s of course another stage of things, after the first draft is written, in which other knowledges and intentions do come in. You have to know enough to be dissatisfied with the easy phrase, with the false or timid gesture, and also with the masks of style or stance. You have to want, more than anything else, to make your own discovery each time. You have to welcome both your own strangeness and your own fierceness. And you have to have an ear, an eye, that will recognize when a poem has stumbled in its music, seeing, courage, or path, so you can know that you need to work with it further, to ask of it more.


and:

What do you feel is the difference, if there is one, between writing poems for self-healing or self-revelation, and writing poems as an art form and an offering to others?
 
No difference. Some poems are good and some poems are less good, but I don’t think our initial ideas about why we are writing have much to do with that. Anyone who writes a poem outside of a school assignment writes because it is inescapable for them—it’s a fate and a need. No difference also because what speaks to the inner self speaks to others, and what we say to others we say also to ourselves.

 


To read more:

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Last edited by Katlin, Feb/25/2013, 12:11 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Early Rooms


Many people feel poetry is a secret language they don't quite know how to read. What might you say to someone who says, “I want to connect to poetry, but I don’t understand it”?

I would say, hear a poem first, as if it were being spoken to you by someone you love. Good poems are notes-in-bottle, voice-in-bottle messages, offered from one life to another. You don't have to understand a poem in conscious ways to be moved and changed by it, just as we don't have to understand a dream to feel its power. Sometimes the work of inner life wants to be done outside the reach of our usual, rational comprehension. Let a poem work in you the way yeast and time and heat turn flour and water, honey and salt, into bread. Do this for one poem, another, another, and poetry's feast of meanings and voices will become a banquet that's always at hand. And more: you yourself will become more variously hungry. Part of what poems do is make the appetite we have for our lives larger. They make our thoughts, feelings, present, future, even the past, larger.

Feb/25/2013, 12:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Early Rooms


Thanks Kat, I've been reading JH lately and I
bookmarked the interview,

Chris
Feb/25/2013, 1:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Early Rooms


Yes.

Tere
Feb/25/2013, 7:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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