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Adam Burnel on where things come from...

Looking for inspiration I went on line to explore where this word BLOG came from. Of course I discovered a load of information I had not expected. I’m not going to repeat it here – we can each do our own exploring.

I also bumped into my old friend, the question of where something comes from. I could guess why this is important to me. It seems to crop up in much of my poetry. I suppose I have spent much of my professional life seeking to understand those who came my way looking for help. It always seemed important that the understanding was rooted in that person’s own context, including their past.

One of the first things a doctor in training learns is to “take a history”. Without

understanding the unique story of a person’s difficulties it seems unlikely that they will be addressed. It also means actively listening to that story, being honestly and openly curious about the interweaving threads of their life. There is something in being listened to in this way. Something about the need a story has to be heard. Does that being heard allow a transformation from story to “real”?

It feels like there is a parallel here to the making and hearing of poetry. When a poem is written it can be offered to the world and heard. Whose poem is it then? In the mouth of the reader, in the ear of the listener, in the mind of whoever encounters it. Some kind of transformation occurs. My guess is that transformation is also rooted in a person’s story, their history.

It's fascinating what occurs when you try to find out where something is from...


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