I tell my poetry-writing students that art is about pattern. That human beings are pattern-making & pattern-recognizing animals. That playing with patterns is what we do. It turns out that we have been making patterns for a long time. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could hear the songs that were sung when that wall was being painted?

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

5 thoughts on “Pattern”

  1. that line ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could hear the songs that were sung when that wall was being painted’ is so evocative in that it includes the movement and the activity as we might imagine them and this might be compared in our personal experience with some event even so simple as when at four just recovering from an illness my mother having place a soft-boiled egg in its little cup before my wondering face reached over and clipped-off the top and scooped-out the center onto the little plate of buttered pieces of toast and spoke so reassuringly to me. edward mycue

  2. Your comments here made me think of Susanne K Langer’s book “Feeling and Form”. She says, “art is the creation of forms symbolic of human feeling”. Perhaps she might seem dated compared to more contemporary aesthetic thinkers, but when I read her years ago she seemed much more insightful than most post-modernists. I wonder if any academics bother reading her books these days?

  3. i’m not an academic, but susanne langer is always on my shelf. i’ve never completely understood her, but i feel that what she writes is honestly true and without phoniness.

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