I’ve wanted to name the connection between drawing and composing poetry.
Drawing is a mode of seeing. We don’t see, then draw; we don’t draw what we see; we see by drawing. And we see, truly, only what we love. So as we draw we fall in love with what we are seeing, and the movement of my hand, feeling inside my loving gaze, strengthens my love.
Love is always for the first time. This is not just a hallmark saying, it is a literal truth. As love escalates, the distinction between subject and object closes. Vision becomes heightened until it is supernatural. The lover sees but is no longer conscious of seeing; the lover and the beloved person or thing are one in vision. As the distance between lover and beloved closes, it is not possible to retain any memory of previous moments, because memory is cognitive distance. Love is always for the first time.
In the end each drawing is a new unique object: the love of this artist for this thing in this instant.
In the same way, poetry is loving by words. The poem is not about anything, it is a thing in and of itself. This new thing is the love of this writer for this thing or person at this moment; it is their love reified from ethereal into words, shaking their manes. No distance remains between the vision, the thought, the feeling, and the emitted words. When the poet reads back over last evening’s work, he does not remember how he wrote it.
We love by drawing, and we love by poetry. As if, every time, for the first time.