This morning as I prepared for this week's class on images, on the power of images, and how they operate in poetry I thought of seeing, how we see, how we are trained to see and not see. I remembered the story of the explorer Magellan. When he and his crew docked at a village near Tierra del Fuego and climbed onto land, the villagers couldn't see them. It sounds unbelievable, actually, until you realize that yet everyday we walk and exist within several realms. In the western world we have been trained to interact and see only one, the one discernible with our five senses. (There are more than five senses.) There are the plant realm, insect realms, various creature realms, the sky realms, ancestor human realms, the realms of the deceased who do not know they are dead to this world, and so on. In the western way of thinking (western, that is, non-indigenous, all of our cultures have indigenous roots), if we see and communicate within these realms, we are dwellers in the imagination, or outright crazy. Poets are interpreters and singers. We are crossover stations of these realms.
Posted by Joy Harjo at 6:41 AM