Electricity’s magic, as well as the potential catastrophe of losing it, is also at the heart of my poem ‘That Night’, which imagines a meteorite hitting the Earth, and is animated here for Wordpool by Emily&Anne:
Creating art often involves transforming something hidden into something that can be grasped, used and shared. Like atoms passing electrons to each other, we try to pass on, or re-evoke, an experience or feeling to those who haven’t, or can’t, experience it then directly. We do this through words, painting, sculpture, dance, song, theatre.
But art isn’t only in the revelation of the hidden. One intriguing aspect of poetry is its ability to create something simultaneously tangible and intangible. By this I mean words that flicker at logic’s edges, and yet somehow still evoke a feeling or emotion or atmosphere that seems perfectly right and complete. The difficulty is conjuring up intangibility in a tangible way, without destroying the beauty that depends on intangibility.
The following poem is an attempt at this. It draws on the process of writing this article, Sarah Grice’s artwork of a brain made from electrical cables (the image right at the top of this article), Wellcome Collection’s Electricity: The spark of life exhibition, and a museum-themed workshop held in a cathedral. As such it’s typical of how inspiration works for me – a lightning bolt, or shock, followed by a more gradual building up of charge from various sources.