Poetry and the Present Tense

The present tense, so useful for bringing immediacy to writing …


… fits with the wisdom that we live in the present, remember the past and imagine the future…

But even the present is imagined. Look how the flashes of light in the following image of this little stream …


… are really the traces of a present that occurs more quickly than the human eye, or a camera shutter at 1/250 of a second, can follow, like the tracks of subatomic particles in a cloud chamber.


This is why poets and other spiritual seekers seek an integrated third way, without tense but present in the full being of the water. In a way poetry is saying that the above image and the one below …



… and this one …


… are the same.

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