POETRY MONTH 30/30/30: Inspiration, Community, Tradition: DAY 17:: Jim Lounsbury on Les Murray
POETRY : A DREAM SEA OF WORDS by Jim Lounsbury About ten years ago, I stumbled into a heated debate with a filmmaker friend about whether words or imagery was a more effective way to convey emotion. I argued the case for words, and he took the side of imagery. As the disagreement escalated to a passionate squabble and then to a stamp your feet and beat on your chest free-for-all, I began to wonder what gave me such a strong opinion on the issue. We were both filmmakers. We were both avid photographers. We were both working in the visual arts. What then, was my problem with accepting the visual medium as the superior art form? At the end of the night, we agreed to disagree, and I left, still confused about why I was so confident in the power of words. Of course, my affinity for words could be biological. My internal chemistry set might not react to imagery as powerfully as it does to a well placed noun, but I wasn't going to let myself off the hook that easily. Over the course of many months, my thoughts often returned to this argument until a plausible explanation finally struck me a few weeks later. Imagery was powerful at evoking emotion, but words have the ability to surgically cut to the bone and identify a precise emotion.