Poetry International Poetry International

The doors of perception

'Uninhabited blue' meets 'the other side of a dream'
February 02, 2022

The gaze of a poet is often thought to be different from a mere mortal’s gaze. Where ordinary man sees a house, a poet sees endless rooms full of metaphors, keys turning themselves in their locks, the souls of objects, details which cause reality to falter. This treacherous and ever-changing world is poured into a mold and presented back to us in the form of a poem.

The answer to the question what it is exactly that poets perceive, can be found in this Archive Tour. The poems in this tour will fix their gaze on the eyes, on sight, on seeing and not-seeing: some things evade our field of vision and remain hidden in the dark, like in Carlos López Degregori’s poem BLACK THREAD. Sometimes, the eye features quite literally, such as in the work of Chen Kehua, a very special poet-physician who operates on cataracts, clouded vision. In these poems, we observe many colors: red, gold, uninhabited blue. We see ourselves bare as the ground, see through colored glass unto the other side of a dream, watch couples in the supermarket, an arrow soaring through the treetops, and a UFO which landed yesterday at the edge of town. Years later, we see each other again, hair gone thin. For those readers whose eyes are not immediately opened after reading these poems, there are audio and video performances included in this tour as well: perhaps the sound of a poet’s voice may help sharpen the images.

© Fleur Jeras
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Gefinancierd door de Europese Unie
Elise Mathilde Fonds
Stichting Verzameling van Wijngaarden-Boot
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère