Friday, June 06, 2008
June Poetry Prompt 1 - Words and Image
There’s a strong poetic tradition of poems written in response to works of art, and I have a great book, Voices in the Gallery (sadly out of print but available second-hand on Amazon), edited by Danny and Joan Abse, that’s an anthology of poems and their corresponding paintings and sculptures.
The first prompt this month is to write a poem in response to Van Gogh’s painting above. There are several ways of ‘entering’ a visual image in order to write a poem and here are a few suggestions that might get you going. But please respond to the painting in any way you'd like:
1. You can describe the picture. You can say what it makes you think and feel. But remember description is not just about decoration, it needs to be significant too i.e. it needs to mean something, it needs to carry ideas and themes.
2. You can let the picture act as a ‘trigger’. It might remind you of something in your own memory and you take that journey and leave the picture behind.
3. Voice 1 – You can become one of the characters in the picture and give an account of your experience, your pre-occupations and dreams.
4. Voice 2 – You can adopt the voice of someone or something that’s outside of the painting, e.g. a character’s mother, their next-door neighbour, or even the artist himself.
I look forward to reading your work.