Friday, January 16, 2009

Writing the Seen and the Unseen

Deena Metzger, in her book "Writing for Your Life: A Guide and Companion to the Inner World" suggested, "When you think you have nothing to say, when your life feels dull and tedious, try writing: Things I didn't see today." The things we can't see are often the most important. A Turkish poet who spent a number of years as a political prisoner, Nazim Hikmet, wrote a poem entitled "Things I Didn't Know I Loved," while looking out a Prague-to-Berlin train window.

...night is falling
I never knew I liked
night descending like a tired bird on a smoky wet plain...
I never knew I loved the sun
even when setting cherry-red as now
in Istanbul too it sometimes sets in postcard colors...
I didn't know I loved clouds
whether I'm under or up above them
whether they look like giants or shaggy white beasts...
I never knew I liked the night pitch-black
sparks fly from the engine
I didn't know I loved sparks...

As a journal writer, you don't need to write a poem, but simply write your own "things I didn't see today" or "Things I Didn't Know I Loved."


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