Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What a Camera Means to a Person’s Life

What a Camera Means to a Person’s Life

You can remember less during,
less of the ocean’s hem
settling onto sand, the edge
of a sheet easing itself over the curve
of a bed. In a way, this frees you,
raises your finger from the record button.

The camera has done that,
stuck its head beneath your hand and lifted,
as one might lift a record player’s arm
to stop the sound.


  1. Your poems are really beautiful. I especially like the ocean imagery in this one.

  2. ahh so true!c i am often too obsessed with capturing the moment than enjoying it!

  3. Hi Hannah. I appreciated the 'weird portrait' comment, coming from the mistress of the genre. What a Camera Means seems to be speaking directly to me. I spend a lot of time painting the ocean and taking pictures of it and have become aware that much of the time I'm actually at the shore I'm recording it rather than experiencing it. This is a really lovely reminder to actually live in the moment. Did you leave out the'the' before record button on purpose, or was it an oversight?

  4. Thanks for the comments, all...especially Mairi! Yikes, a typo :). I fixed it, and thanks very much for telling me (and for your kind words).

  5. This is excellent and definitely all too easy to be caught up in the recording a moment rather than enjoying it. It's one of the reasons I rarely take photos of wildlife, I'd rather watch and enjoy, plus i know my photos aren't going to be all that good!

  6. Hi Hannah,
    I agree completely, and yet, I find, there are times on vacation, using a camera actually helps me to "stop" and notice. So long as I do both, absorb and record, the camera has its place; otherwise, my memories tend to merge. I'll never forget, though, trying to capture my son performing in a "kindergarten circus" and realizing I'd missed the pleasure of it, trying to get a photograph. I wish I could go back, and do it right! It reminds me, sometimes, when I need to put the camera down. I love the poem, and your second stanza is powerful.

  7. This poem entrances me. Thank you for it!


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