I built an awning once, in a time and place no longer accessible to me. I don’t know if it (or the building it was attached to) is still there. I don’t know if anyone remembers it. It doesn’t matter. I remember. I remember the heat of the sun and the irony in the fact that I was building shade. I remember the cuts on my hands from the aluminum sheeting. I remember puzzling out how to make it waterproof, and I question to this day whether or not I succeeded.
Awnings are strange things if you stop to really think about them. They serve no structural purpose, and many fine buildings are aesthetically pleasing without them. Yet they act as a kind of way station, a place to pause while between an inside and an outside.
You are standing before a new door deciding if you should open it, or you are stepping out under unknown skies after an extended stay indoors: stop a moment; take a deep breath; stay out of the rain.
As with awnings, so too with poetry.
-Preface to The Tint of Glass Awnings
by Brian Quinn