Reading Richard Wilbur's "Walking to Sleep" for class tomorrow, I was struck by this image:
Now with your knuckles rub your eyelids, seeing
The phosphenes caper like St. Elmo's Fire
A friend of mine once said something to me about wanting to watch what was going on behind his eyelids. Perhaps we were enjoying alternative approaches to perception at the time. :-)
I wish I had then known the word "phosphenes":
"A sensation of light caused by excitation of the retina by mechanical or electrical means rather than by light, as when the eyeballs are pressed through closed lids."
If I had known the word, I could have said, "Okay, I'll shut up and we can enjoy our phosphenes." Perhaps only "mechanical or electrical means" generate "phosphenes," or the definer failed to consider "alternative approaches" to the production of such "sensations of light."