words are also things

In my poems, I see meaning in small details of the natural world. To see such details is a way of being human, of appreciating and understanding the world and our place in it. A poem may begin as the result of a visual image or a particular sound. In these cases, it is an image (or sound image) awaiting words. A poem may being with an observation of the aural effects of a particular word or combination of words. In this case, words await an image.

I try to combine an apprehension of what I've seen in the visual world with an expression in words that will delight or surprise in a similar manner. I attempt to express the ineffable. One is constantly surprised by the visual appearance of things in the world. Likewise is one surprised by words and language. Words, but their meanings and visual and aural aspects, lead or link, forward, backward, sideways, and inside out, to other words. Language is filled with surprises.

Part of trying to make things of the world immanent in words is having the awareness that letters of the alphabet and words, as well as being signs and symbols, are also things - they have visual shape and aural sound apart from literal meaning.

- Nelson Ball, from his afterword to Certain Details: The Poets of Nelson Ball.

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