Sunday, April 25, 2010

catching air

I was talking with a friend this weekend while sitting in a butterfly pavilion. As we marveled at the butterflies dancing about, he mentioned a poem that he had recently read. It was Katerina Stoykova-Klemer's How to Write a Poem, which simply reads “Catch the air around the butterfly.”

My friend explained that butterflies are too delicate to touch. A child trying to catch a butterfly often kills it without the slightest intentions. Like butterflies thoughts, feelings, emotions frequently expressed through poetry are often to frail to touch. The poet assembles words around these thoughts like catching the air around the butterfly. It is catching the air that allows a small glimpse of the butterfly.

Since that conversation I have been pondering what other parts of life are too delicate, too frail to touch. What things are we limited to trying to catch the air around it?

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