Artist Statement:

As I was sitting atop a hill on a sunny, fall day, I ran into a bit of writer’s block. My creative writing class had just let out and felt inspired enough to write, but nothing was coming to mind. Then I looked up. Immediately I knew that clouds would be the focus of my poem. However, every time I tried to write something about them, they would move or change their shapes. I thought to myself, “That’s it! It sounds weird, but why not write about cloud watching?” And so I gave it a try. To my amazement, I found it so easy to incorporate the imagery I did in the piece. I could play around with something physical and make it surreal at the same time, while still making it believable. One advantage I had was, whenever I got stuck, I looked up! To me, the clouds eclipsing the sun looked like a hand. Scattered, identical, and puffy clouds looked like hoards of animals stampeding the azure sky space; quirky, yet authentic-sounding.

On a side note, I also attempted to make the whole piece sound nostalgic. This is especially clear in the first stanza, where it almost sounds reminiscent of an I Spy book. Speaking of the stanzas, they are purposely indented to indicate the changes one cloud can go through as it passes. When the indenting stops, the focus shifts towards another after a bit of light conversation between the two observers. The stylized sight words occur because individual perception tells us we all see the world differently.

“No wrong answers,” indeed.

What Do You See

Kevin Williamson



Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240