Wednesday, April 14, 2010

from Tammy Ho, for me: To see the world

"I’m inspired by Molly Gaudry’s current poetry project, which I think is absolutely brave, provoking and great. She wrote this poem for me. I want to write something for you, for free. Free because unlike Molly, I cannot guarantee the completion of the pieces. Send me an email and tell me what you want me to write about. How many words do you want? Do you want rhyming couplets? No metaphors? Or simply send me an image; I will come up with something." - said Tammy in her blog.

what a beautiful invite for poetry month, i thought. and wrote back. i immediately knew what the poem could be about: London - i was there last summer, and Tammy and i almost managed to meet there. so i returned to the pictures i took, and sent some Liverpool Street scenes, plus the link to the London blog entry: "London - around the world in a day".

today, Tammy wrote back with a poem that picks up on the first of the blog images: a scene from the london underground. the poem went straight under my skin. it is up here: "To see the world"
- this is the start of it:

If you had to choose
between traveling around the world in one day
and waiting for the train with me for five minutes,
which would you choose?

in one of this beautiful coincidences, this poem also connects to poem that went online in Spiral Orb today, the one i wrote about a post below - it's about the constant entertainment provided nowadays on any transit, to avoid silent moments of 'empty' waiting time.

3 hours 20 to destination
announces the flight entertainment system
and starts to show
promo clips of new / popular / places

and so fitting as counterpoint: the huge white empty space in the underground image. i think it was an ad. can't remember for what. but it inspired me to take that picture.

update, and the return to the start:
i now looked for the original image file, to decipher the 'footnote' underneath the white ad space. turns out, this isn't advertising, but .. an entertainment screen. the note on the poster says: if you click it, you get to see the active screen, with splashing colors and butterflies. and the butterflies, in coincidence, connect to the other poem a poet wrote for me this year: Molly Gaudry. the poem's title: Butterfly Show.
beautiful+suprising, how this post now comes full circle (or: full spiral orb).

update2, April 19:
"To see the world" is mentioned on "books, INQ.", a Sunday Times top blog of 2009: some poems


Beth said...

Dorothee, I'm so glad I found this link and followed your post with a visit to Tammy's blog to read her poem for you - what a great project, and what a gift of a poem! I've loved Tammy's collaborative work at qarrtsiluni but especially like this poem of hers, and what it asks us to consider. Thanks!

daniela elza said...

thanks Dorothee,
wonderful project. and your thoughts made me think how we travel to see places, and the irony of it is that while travelling we are lured with TV screens and ads just so we do not experience the place we are at in the moment.

I remember refusing to close the blind on my airplane window (on a number of occasions) just so it would be dark enough for people to watch a movie.
The movie I picked was happening right below me. Swirls of ice in the ocean, fractals, the red slopes of greenland.