less than clear

blue sky and building ruins seen through window with no glass in burned out building

It isn’t just my aged mother who is confused by Windows. I’ve been looking at the other kind and wondering what they are for.

They aren’t usually there to be looked at. But are they there to look out of? Or to look in at?

Presumably it depends on where you are: if you’re outside, you look in, and if you’re inside, you look out.

blue sky seen through arched window with no glass in burned out building

But with the windows in the first few photos here, that doesn’t seem to work: I was outside looking out.

sky seen  through arched window with no glass

Perhaps it’s more a case of looking through?

At least with these windows I was sure that what I could see was in front of me.

blue sky and building ruins seen through window with no glass in burned out building

And then I found another, rather different, window; the glass was clean, but I couldn’t look through it at all.

I was still outside looking out, but what I was looking at was behind me.

blue sky and roof reflected in modern window

I’ve skimmed through my files of poems and have any number of poems with windows in them, so here are some fragments.

First, the opening of a piece set in Spain among the grape vines I mentioned in yesterday’s post:

First light

Dawn leaks through a crack in the mountain ridge.

The Matins bell chimes honey-clear

across still valley air. It sounds

outside my window where a carillon 

of grapes calls to the rising sun.

Next, a fragment from a piece called Hermetic. The windows here are like the last photo above and don’t let anyone see what’s going on inside:

[…]Seen from the street,
the house boasts a veneer of Eighties smart.
Inside, condensation tears the double glass
to drip on wipe-clean sills. Three decades on,
imperishable polyvinyl chloride seals us
tupper tight[…]

A fragment from Moonshine shows it’s not just the neighbours who are interested in knowing what’s happening:

The bland-faced moon […] stoops to look through
your bedroom window. With nicotine-stained fingers
she pushes aside the net curtains of the clouds and vainly
strains to see her reflection in your eyes.

Lastly, a fragment caught years ago when staying in an old building in London:

Through old sash windows: a crinkle of brickwork
and ripple of wrought iron; cool and viscous,
glass creeps earthwards through the centuries.

And a final image, which shows that the view seen in a mirror can be even more confusing than what you see through a window.

Grand Central - New Street station, Birmingham, UK

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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