‘It sounds like a simple thing, to say what you see. But try to find the words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf, or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning, or the very beginnings of desire stirring in the gaze of someone looking right into your eyes, and it immediately becomes clear that all we see is slippery, nuanced, elusive. As Susan Mitchell says, ‘The world is wily, and doesn’t want to be caught.”

Perception is simultaneous and layered, and to single out any aspect of it for naming is to turn your attention away from a myriad other things, those braiding elements of the sensorium – that continuous, complex response to things perpetually delivered by the senses, the encompassing sphere that is such a large part of our subjectivity.’

– Mark Doty, The Art of Description: World into Word

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