Friday, 23 April 2010

National Poetry Writing Month, Day Twentythree

Read Write Poem member Sage Cohen has a terrific suggestion for today’s poems: Write a poem in which you combine a speaker and an event that normally don’t go together (such as sports broadcasters and poetry writing), as Jay Leeming does in his poem, “Man Writes Poem.

Is today’s RWP prompt. But I can’t think of anything. I did, briefly consider trying to write from the perspective of St Thomas Aquinas at a Swingers club but images of flabby, heaving bodies, not to mention fluids of an unsavoury nature crusting on the upholstery, made me feel nauseous, so I gave that up.

But I must do something, so I thought I’d take a radical departure from the norms of poetry and try and create a poem not from words but from photographs. So here is my first attempt at a wordless poem:

No. 23


Titus said...

Ooh. It's the sock ending that stays with me and alters all that came before.

flaubert said...

I am with Titus! Wow!

Pat said...

I'm flummoxed.

Alesa Warcan said...

Hmmm... after a moment's hesitation. I guess I'll comment.

While I'm not against the idea of creating poetry through images... I think it's very hard to pull off, and doubly hard if you want to frame a specific story.

I'm not sure this answers the prompt, unless you're playing my favourite game: let the reader/viewer do the work. In which case, sure I can interpret the pictures in such a way that fits the prompt, but then it feels like I'm the one answering a prompt...

It's quite possible I'm not sensitive enough to visual expression to get the story you're telling through these pictures...

...Pictures that are great on their own, by the way. Is the second one a homemade truffle in your kitchen? What is that?

Eryl Shields said...

Titus ~ it's all about the sock!

Pamela ~ :)

Pat ~ me too! I chose the pictures in much the same way I would choose the elements of an outfit: the sock came first and then the rest followed. I wish I hadn't chosen the flower now, I don't think it goes, too bright for that position.

Alesa ~ I fear you're asking me to think! OK:

I didn't follow the prompt but I wanted to stick to the remit of at least 'writing' a poem but I couldn't think of anything to actually write about. So, I remembered the poet Tom Leonard saying he was going to try and write a poem without words. How might one do that?

I had the sock photograph and thought it tells a story. For a start it's been abandoned or lost and now it lies there crumpled and faded amongst the debris. So I decided I would end the poem with it. I then had to find more photos in my archive that would build up to that ending. So I pretty much scanned through all my photographs pretty speedily, I only had about half an hour left of the day, and chose them without giving them too much thought. I then arranged them in various orders until it felt right and voila! So now I am left to post rationalize.

Now I feel the orange poppy is wrong. I either need to replace it with something less bright, follow it with something that will link to to the rest or put it in a different place. I may play about with it at a later date, for now it's onto today's prompt and I'm out tonight so I have to be quick.

That second one is a picture of tea leaves after having been removed from a little strainer that goes inside a teapot, on a bit of kitchen paper by my sink. I take photographs of everything obsessively, especially food.

Have I answered all your questions?

Alesa Warcan said...

Yup, thanks.

A Cuban In London said...

Sorry, but once I read tha St Thomas reference I couldn't concentrate on the picture. My mind just wandered on its own. St Thomas in a swingers' club? What are you like? :-)

Please, please, if your muse if not taking the time off today, ask her to come back and help flesh out the poem. :-)

Greetings from London.

Eryl Shields said...

Alesa ~ crikey, I think that must be the first time I've not missed anything.

Cuban ~ you're back! I know I'm a scandal, my mother would slap me if she were still around.

You want flesh? My idea, vague as it was, was that the sock was abandoned or lost and without a foot it was somehow unwhole. So I then chose the shadow and derelict boat both of which seemed to follow the theme of unwholeness/emptiness/ abandonment. The flower I chose to represent youth and beauty and wholeness. However, the poem doesn't work, at all, because the flower is so much brighter than the other images and also because the other images all pretty much represent the same thing. At the time, I think, I thought the tea-leaf ball could link the shadows with the flower, it being still quite fresh, but now I think it doesn't quite fulfill that role. But, next time I will do better, hopefully.

Kass said...

Love the photos. I don't care what they mean.

Eryl Shields said...

Thanks Kass.