Waiting and Desire

Waiting and Desire

Waiting for coffee at Mdm. Michaux's roadside stand, Cange, Hait

Waiting for coffee at Mdm. Michaux’s roadside stand, Cange, Haiti. 6:01 AM, May, 2014.

I often think about photographing between moments. Another way of describing this may be in terms of impulse and desire – that part of us that compels us to keep shifting and moving from one state to another. Poet Stanley Kunitz writes about this in a gem of a memoir, ‘The Wild Braid’ (NYT article):

“The poem has to be saturated with impulse and that means getting down to the very tissue of experience. How can this element be absent from poetry without thinning out the poem?

That is certainly one of the problems when making a poem is thought to be a rational production. The dominance of reason, as in eighteenth-century poetry, diminished the power of poetry. Reason certainly has a place, but it cannot be dominant. feeling is far more important in the making of a poem. And the language itself has to be a sensuous instrument; it cannot be a completely rational one. In rhythm and sound, for example, language has the capacity to transcend reason; it’s all like an erotic play.” – Stanley Kunitz with Genine Lentine, The Wild Braid,  p. 1-5, Norton, 2005, photographs by Marnie Crawford Samuelson

Rhythm and form, tone and luminosity, image and imagination are parts of the stuff that gives photography the capacity to transcend reason, which brings us to being between moments.

3 responses to “Waiting and Desire”

  1. Pradip,
    I’m really enjoying all your work from Haiti. Stanley Kunitz’ line that “language itself has to be a sensuous instrument” really resonated with me. I think the same applies to the image in photography.