I don’t mind asking you–I wonder
if I get over to anyone–I would like to–
I would like to know
if I get over to anyone things–I feel and want
I feel and want things–I feel and want things
I haven’t words for–
things I want to say–I feel and want things–
I make them just
to express myself–
I wonder if I get over to anyone–
Things I feel and want–
I would like to know–if you want to tell me–
You can do as you please about answering
I have found the strong sun of New Mexico for a precious week and I am reading through “My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz. I love the contrast of their writing styles, their fascination with each other and their shared commitment and passion for art.
O’Keefe writes in bursts–separated by M-dashes. I think of her childhood in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, surrounded by the broken English of immigrant farmers, silent exhaustion after physical labor, the wrap-around language of the landscape.
I excerpted some words she wrote to Steiglitz after just having made his acquaintance in 1916. He, a celebrated NYC art dealer and she, half his age, an emerging artist, eager to connect with someone, anyone, everyone who might understand her paintings. Her words in a letter rang out to me with such lyricism. Many of my poems come to me silently in my head. This one came like a chant.