Monday, October 24, 2011

Trying to Find the Right Word


In the bureau of the abandoned, 
Stark is not the word 

For these photographs, 
Stark is never 

Stark enough. 


  1. when i read this i think how much images have
    dwindled in there meaning.
    we see photographs of the atrocities we perform on one and other and we blink and head out to Walmart.

    good post


  2. Vassilis, you are right, stark is not the word. There are no words.

    One thing the FSA photographers had in common was the sense that language was simply not going to be capable of encompassing the overwhelming desolation of the lived experience of those hard times.

    One photographer who came into the project late on, near the very end, John Collier, put it this way:

    "They had faith in the visual record that this nonverbal evidence might do something where nothing else would".

    In our present straits -- yours, ours, everyone's -- perhaps nothing would be enough to effect change.

    Yet we keep knocking at that door, stirring up the dust with our feeble little words (here I speak only for myself, not you, dear maestro), and their great, great pictures...

  3. Robert--

    it's not that the images have dwindled in their meaning, we have lost the ability to retain that meaning.


    You're right--I guess "feeble little words" (and I speak for all of us) coming from wordsmiths pale in comparison to some photographs which literally take our breath away but then again, so do some poems. All we can do is take another breath and start over again.

    Thanks to you both.


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