Landscape: Subject Matter or Technique?

A poem by Charles Wright has entirely captured and enraptured me. Thanks to Lorri for reading it aloud in the Severin Hall lounge at St. Peter’s Abbey one day last week.


Landscape was never a subject matter, it was a technique,

A method of measure,

                    a scaffold for structuring.

I stole its silences, I stepped to its hue and cry.

Language was always the subject matter, the idea of God

The ghost that over my little world

Hovered, my mouthpiece for meaning,

                                   my claw and bright beak…


                                              --Charles Wright


I’d love to hear what others think of this concept of landscape as technique.

2 thoughts on “Landscape: Subject Matter or Technique?

  1. Hi B–

    So good to read this again (and again)…

    On the way out to the red hermitage the other day, I followed tracks the deer had left…the impressions of their
    hooves were more than marks in snow….they were a kind of intaglio of winter on the mind….

    Thank you for posting this–hope your writing is going well…


  2. My writing isn’t going as well as it was a week ago, but the change in location might have a whole lot to do with it! It’s amazing how many times a phone can ring in a day, how many times I can find something else to do, how many times I have to check email. Crazy, I tell you! It’s crazy on the outside!

    But it’s been a pretty darned fine re-entry for a change…

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