Poetry Wednesday – January 13, 2010

13 Jan

I’ve been working on enjoying moments instead of trying to capture them in film or words, or trying to remember every moment.  Finding myself reaching for the camera instead of helping Adeline finish her puzzle, I was reminded of this poem by Wendell Berry.   As always, go here to read more.

The Vacation

by Wendell Berry

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.

He went flying down the river in his boat

with his video camera to his eye, making

a moving picture of the moving river

upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly

toward the end of his vacation.  He showed

his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,

preserving it forever: the river, the trees,

the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat

behind which he stood with his camera

preserving his vacation even as he was having it

so that after he had had it he would still

have it.  It would be there.  With a flick

of a switch, there it would be.  But he

would not be in it.  He would never be in it.


6 Responses to “Poetry Wednesday – January 13, 2010”

  1. Molly Sabourin January 13, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    What a fascinating poem, Jennifer! I love when authors (especially fantastic authors like Wendell Berry) tackle quieter, often unnoticed issues, making us think and reevaluate our priorities.

  2. beth johnson January 13, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Thanks for this poem. I am often wonder if my zealous attempts of capturing moments via blog, photos etc. for the memory are actually leaving me not fully present in the moments themselves.

  3. kris January 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Are you reading “Good Poems”? It’s a grouping of poems put together by Garrison Keeler, and this one is in there, too. I have a whole bunch of poems bookmarked, now I’ll have to unbookmark this one!

    He also put together Good Poems for Hard Times.

    Both books are great.

  4. Jennifer January 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    I’m not currently reading it, but did pull it out to find this poem.

    A lot of my very favorites are in there! I haven’t read Good Poems for Hard Times yet.

  5. Ashley Canter January 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    At last, I feel justified for never taking enough pictures! Thanks for reminding me once again where my true priorities lie.


  1. Poetry Wednesday – 01/13/2010 « The Public Anchorite - January 13, 2010

    […] Josh Mock’s contribution and my lovely wife’s. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Poetry WednesdayPoetry WednesdayBad […]

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