It’s a pleasure to discover beautiful little gems hidden in unexpected places. I think gardeners are especially adept at this –we notice the rustle of wind through winter grass, the pattern of frost on a leaf, the first crocus pushing through the snow . These tiny delights of the natural world are not lost on us.
If you pay attention, you can find such gems in books, too — even when they’re not intentional. A few years ago, when I was taking my first landscape design class at GWU and trying to practice drawing, I came across an intriguing discussion of color in Betty Edwards’ classic Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Color is certainly a fundamental aspect of garden design, and of art in general, but I had never really thought about color in the way that Edwards’ presented it. Word-Nerd that I am, I decided to turn the passage into a “Found Poem” — which I hereby present for your enjoyment, or possibly your amused pity. A scan of the original text follows.
When the Sun Goes Down Color Disappears
And what is
Is it merely — as scientists tell us —
a subjective experience
a mental sensation
that can occur only if there is
an object and
in the narrow band of wavelengths called the
v i s i b l e s p e c t r u m
Is the world really
only seeming to become full of color again when we turn
the lights on?
know. What we do
when the sun goes down