(photo by Irving Penn, "Cuzco Children, Peru", 1948)
I have this distinct feeling that the photograph I carry in my eyes
is nothing more than a ruin under the stone, like
a vase, whitewashed, recently, by silent hands,
the memory discovered and simply departed, without an image
I wish all memories were made of stone
that they would stretch and blend with the dying salt
and that, from there, they would depart to other shores,
to the clouds which create movement
photography and the dying salt are the sole reality of cosmos
© 2006 Jorge R. Vicente – All rights reserved
This poem was inspired in an article I’m reading, about geography, photography and cinema. It is very interesting, but its author quotes several other authors who believe that photographs are, in many ways, like ruins, bringing us memories of people and places that are no more.
And then, I thought: what will the photos of those we love convey, in a 100, 150 years, to those who will be here by then? - Probably nothing but the memory of a time which was their own. This thought did cause some nostalgia, but it is also the kind of nostalgia that brings about reflections.
Incidentally, I wonder if any of you have seen a show, on the Odyssey TV channel, about a ship that sank 130 years ago. Its discoverers found the photo of a person, kept in a trunk, at the bottom of the sea. The photo was intact. And it made me wonder: who could that person in the photo have been? What was her history? All these reflections were the inspiration for this poem I now share with you.