Poetry Challenge 46

Synesthesia

Today, in honor of my new book, Beneath a Portrait of a Horse, somewhere en route to me from Salmon Press, I gave a craft talk to students and others at the university here.   Along the way, to explain where poetry comes from for me, I began talking about synesthesia–the condition of intermixing the senses, so that sound and sight evoke each other–or taste, or smell.  After the talk, I learned that a mathematician friend of mine–also a talented singer and guitarist–has synesthesia.  We compared the colors of numbers–three is pink for me, green for her–and discussed their genders and personalities.  I don’t know if I’m truly synesthetic, but the idea of one sense suggesting or calling forth the others has long intrigued me and I like to make those associations as I write.

So, the challenge–start with one sense and let it morph into another.  What color is the taste of chocolate?  The smell of fish? Of damp earth after first rain? What sound is ice or clouds?

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4 Responses to “Poetry Challenge 46”

  1. Paul Says:

    I really enjoyed your craft talk, Cindy! Dana and I were discussing synesthesia after the talk. What a cool concept or gift or condition; whatever it is, it seems like a cool thing to try to access within your writer-self. Thanks!

  2. mattiespillow Says:

    Thanks, Paul. It was great to have such a supportive crowd!

  3. K.V. Douglass Says:

    Salmon Press–congrats! If you have not read it, please put The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson on your list. Amazing story of autism, horses, and shamans, very well written.

  4. mattiespillow Says:

    I’ll look for it. Also, where can I order your books? From you directly or through a press?

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