Friday, January 21, 2022

Wisdom Has Wide Eyes (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for Roundup.

I'm super-excited about Wild & Precious Writer, the digital course I'll be launching next month! Gratitude to those who have joined me as Founding Members...I'm so grateful for your enthusiasm and support... and your devotion to your writing life. Beautiful!

And if you don't know what I'm talking about, read this post...and go here to subscribe to my email list so that you don't miss out on all the goodness that's coming. :) (Founding Member offer was made through my email list.)

Today's poem is a companion piece to last week's "Courage Has Four Feet." Perhaps this is a theme I'll revisit during this year of ArtSpeak: Animals? We'll see! Meanwhile, enjoy Dürer's Little Owl from way back in the Northern Renaissance, when "animal paintings" became a genre of art. 

Like Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer aimed to be precise and often used real (stuffed) specimens as models for his work. At the time, these pieces were considered more "craft" than "art." I'm kind of in love with them and will be featuring quite a few of Dürer's animals this year. :) 

Here's a quote that celebrates the beauty of what's "real," the idea that governed these artists' work:

"Nature holds the beautiful, for the artist who has the insight to extract it. Thus, beauty lies even in humble, perhaps ugly things, and the ideal, which bypasses or improves on nature, may not be truly beautiful in the end." - Albrecht Dürer

Something to think about as we write our poems: what makes them beautiful?

Thank you so much for reading!

Wisdom Has Wide Eyes

it blends in,

listens to starshimmer,
studies canopies
and knotholes

stays awake
across cruelest hours
to hunt

for meaning

once seen,
the sky cannot be

- Irene Latham


  1. I'm enjoying your journey into animal paintings, Irene.
    As far as owl poems go, yours is 'owl' good.
    "once seen,
    the sky cannot be
    unseen" - eye see what you did there.
    *insert groan here* ;)

  2. Oh! The sky cannot be unseen! Such an ending!

  3. I've read much about owls, amazing talents to see as you so beautifully wrote, Irene. Durer's painting is wonderful; I look forward to more! That word "connection" holds meaning in a way I hadn't imagined before. Have a lovely weekend!

  4. I like that quote "the ideal, which bypasses or improves on nature, may not be truly beautiful in the end." Thank you for taking us with you on this hunt for meaning and connection xo

  5. Oh I do love your poem and the Durer owl and the nature quote... lovely! Reminds me of the story of the little girl who lost her mother and described her as the most beautiful woman in the village. Later we learn that her description comes from her heart more than the "ideal." I look forward to more.

  6. Beautiful quote by Dürer, he's a favorite of mine, and I swooned standing in front of his original drawings and paintings in Vienna. Love your second stanza especially "starshimmer!" Hoping to get some info on your digital course, I just added my name to your list, thanks Irene!

  7. ooooooooh! Ever since living in Athens, the owl (literally Athena's spirit animal) has been special to me. I love that starshimmer is in your poem too. Those cruelest hours are such a neat, tight turn to the ending. Just a lovely poem.

  8. Dürer is a favorite of mine. His attention to detail seems like a kind of love. Yours, too. And those last lines...swoon!

  9. I see why you love them. That owl is pure beauty in my eyes. Your poem leads me to deeper thinking. And that last line, "Cannot be unseen" makes me want to linger looking at the owl's eyes.

  10. Irene, I am late in coming to your post due to a nasty cold but am so glad that I have time to spend mulling over your words. "Nature holds the beautiful" speaks to me as does your poem filled with listening to starshimmer, The ending is amazing for deeper thinking time. Your work is branching out to being a teacher of beautiful words and thoughts.

  11. I love what you've done with the wisdom/owl connection.


Your thoughts?