26 February 2013

Charles Simic at Aperture

Charles Simic is one of my favorite poets. I've posted about he and his work here several times. I knew that he had written some on photography - including a review of Sontag that I link to in an earlier post. I had not known, however, that he once had worked for Aperture. This week the NYRB blog has published this post - a memoir of his time there, prompted by the 6oth anniversary of the magazine.
"In one of the older issues, Minor White had an essay called “What is Meant by ‘Reading’ Photographs” that made a big impression on me. He writes in it about hearing photographers often say that if they could write they would not take pictures. With me, I realized, it was the other way around. If I could take pictures, I would not write poems—or at least, this is what I thought every time I fell in love with some photograph in the office, in many cases with one that I had already seen, but somehow, to my surprise, failed to properly notice before. There is a wonderful moment when we realize that the picture we’ve been looking at for a long time has become a part of us as much as some childhood memory or some dream we once had. The attentive eye makes the world interesting. A good photograph, like a good poem, is a self-contained little universe inexhaustible to scrutiny."

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