Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

What we see

Filed in Writing :: April 4, 2012

Tonight in my workshop we described the scene outside our window: a policeman supervised the removal by tow truck of a tar kettle that had, apparently, somehow collided with a streetlight before we arrived.

Each of us wrote the scene quite differently.

In The Art of Description, Mark Doty writes, “It’s incomplete to say that description describes consciousness; it’s more like a balance between terms, saying what you see and saying what you see.”

Did we change the scene by writing it? Did the scene change us?


In this excerpt from ¬†“Planetarium,”¬†Adrienne Rich writes,

What we see, we see
and seeing is changing

the light that shrivels a mountain
and leaves a man alive

Heartbeat of the pulsar
heart sweating through my body



The light, a heartbeat, a mountain, the pulsar, a man, my body.

Or Doty’s balance between the terms.

Filed in Writing

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