A few months ago at work, here at our Paris Atelier,  I took part in a workshop on presentation. As a pattern maker by day for the women’s wear brand & Other Stories I don’t really have a need to present. For my job I interpret designs, create patterns; shapes, forms, work out mathematical proportions of the body and then a factory turns my computer-made pattern into a finished product; that dress you needed to have last christmas, that blouse you just couldn’t live without, or so you thought until the following season when the colour was no longer featured in any fashion magazine. So for the presentation, I decided to take my passion and talk about poetry and this is what unfolded…


It began as I pulled a mirror onto the stage and asked the audience to tell me what they saw in the mirror. Everyone saw something different. This is what poetry is about, what I see and what you see…



Poetry is a way for me to share what I see. Poetry is how I share what I see with you.


Poetry comes from what I see at the end of the lens, at the fuss when the metro stops moving, in the light that dances in the trees. These are some of the things that I see.


I am a writer, I write about what I see, but also how I feel. I am a writer, this is what I do.


I am a writer. I write my thoughts and offer them to you, to let you see what you want to see.


It all starts with what I see and how I see it and how much I see in it. We all see it, we just don’t all talk about it.


As a writer I am constantly questioning the reflections, looking for connections.


What I see in the mirror or in reflections is different to what you see. I see a grey car, I see a shadow of something that had meaning, I see a building that is hiding in the sky, I see a city drowning in the water that keeps moving while it cannot move.


Poetry is a way of making a connection, between what I see, how I feel and how you react to it.


Poetry does not have to be complicated, confusing, only for professors. Poetry for me is simply using words to describe a feeling, a thought, a moment that begs to be shared, a beauty that should not be missed.


I am a writer, poetry is my way of connecting with you, the reader, this is my reflection, see me, do you see me as I see me, do you see the world as I see it?


We can all see the same things, we can all experience the same feelings but we interpret it in different ways.


I am offering you a reflection of who I am, of what I see, sometimes I am playful and I show you only what I want you to see. It is for you to look deeper if you want to.


What is poetry?

A reflection, a personal beginning that opens up into a universal connection.


I am a writer.

You are the reader.

This is who we are.

This is what we see.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly.



12 thoughts on “WHAT IS POETRY, TO ME, TO YOU?

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