The poet Mary Oliver is well-known for attaching herself to her subject, often the natural world, and staying tethered to it until her observations spilled out in fantastic and unpredictable verse. "The singsong poem is a dull poem," observed she. Oliver opposed predictable rhythms, and championed the awakenings that often arise in a more free verse. As someone who has studied both her poetry and her teachings on writing, my understanding is that Oliver was not in any way advocating for a calculated disruption to a work's rhythm, but rather a yielding to it as it presents itself in the complete consumption of a subject.
"Wherever men have lived there is a story to be told, and it depends chiefly on the storyteller whether that is interesting or not."
Oliver and Thoreau's imprints are ever with me when I am out "stalking" my subjects. This particular one along the coast of Palm Beach, Florida is a longtime friend. For over two decades now, its poetry keeps calling me back. With my lenses, I've recorded this horizon, edged in a peach coral, endlessly. Despite that creative investment, for me, here there is some ongoing story to be told. THOREAUING is a verb I patched together some time ago. It best defines this practice of completely consuming a subject.... it keeps my barreling forward in check and reminds me to lock in and stay put and to not settle for "dull poems".
Keywords: sunshine, breathe, dharma, florida, lensbaby, naturalists, palm beach, poets, sea, spirtuality, thoreau