The Painter and the Landscape

Pound writes, “…remember that the painter can describe a landscape much better than you can, and that he has to know a deal more about it.” This line stood out to me because I know that it’s something I have to work on in my writing – my poems tend to be ‘tell’ heavy, with less  ‘show,’ which is something I’ve been more and more aware of recently. (Having to find an image heavy poem I had for class today was pretty challenging).

However, I did disagree with part of what he had to say here.  Does the painter really know more about the landscape than a poet? Aren’t we also describing landscapes with our images? Granted, we’re not painting the whole landscape, we’re crafting an image that describes the landscape. But that seems to have the same end goal that Pound intended.

I’m grappling with the very specific wording in the example Pound supplied that probably doesn’t matter too much, but like an image in a poem, the details tend to be important. I suppose this is something I’ll be working with in our class this semester – which, and how many, details to give to create rest of the landscape in the images of the readers.

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