#writing poetry #photography
Writing Poetry From Photos: Part Three in a Four Part Series
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Robert Frost
Photos are real, poetry is metaphorical, esoteric. Do they go together?
As I walked the rutted rural roads Elderwood, CA one May evening, the slightly humid breeze, chirping birds, rustling hay, and sunset overwhelmed me with a feeling of well-being. Even though I seldom write poetry, once I captured the beauty with my iPhone, my physical exercise ceased to exist as this poem budded. I felt luxuriously happy.
Can a photo spark a poem? Let’s try it.
The Sweet Breeze in My Life
Few nights invite gentle breezes to tickle my arms with the sweet sense of belonging
But this one did.
Freshly baled hay on the new-mown bed of chenille patterned stubbles,
Imagined pillows, gentle sidewise glances without tangles of splintered meanings.
Few walks enjoyed alone, warm and cuddly as if the whole world held me in its arms
But this one was
Like the cowboy, riding the lonely trail lost in thought – a love left behind,
I smiled, happy to be alive remembering my love and feeling content.
My pictures might not tell a great story, but they remind me of how I felt. But what about you, can these pictures spark a poem out of you even though you were not there to experience the feelings?
- Poetry starts and ends with emotion.
- Colors in photos stimulate emotions.
- Photos and notes remind the poet of the senses not in the picture, the smell of the hay, the feel of the gentle breeze.
- I use Google Docs to store all those sensory notes and pictures until time to publish the poem. What do you use?
Susan found a picture that went with her poem instead of the picture inspiring the poem. It works both ways!
She tells her students,
I have this poem. I have used it in many ways.
To enhance art
in Facebook posts.
But, I really like pairing the poem with a photograph.
This photograph is beautiful, but has harsh edges.
The poem fits well on the left side of the image.
The dominant right side lets the image communicate
the poem’s meaning.
I love this piece. Can you make one with one of your poems?
Susan Trestrail holds traveling writers’ workshops to help others produce published works of poetry and literary fiction as well as teaching English and Literature at several colleges and Universities both online and onsite.
She holds a BA in sociology, an MS Ed from Northern Illinois University, and an MA from National University. She also completed an MFA in Creative Writing -Poetry in 2016 at National University.
Check out her blog for more poetry ideas.
If one of our pictures inspired YOUR poem, feel free to use it. All we ask is that put a link to your post in the comment section. If you have a post inspired by a different photo, post a link in our comment section. I check out these links for future posts.
For other ways to use photographs check out:
Please link to your poems that have used photos to inspire YOUR poetry in the comment section.
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