Poetry essay: Using photography to inspire poetry

A regular category on this blog consists of photographs to inspire poetry.  You can read posts in the category here: photographs to inspire poetry, and see all the photographs used in those posts here: photographs and artwork.

Photography can be a great tool for finding poetry inspiration.  A person can take an abundance of photographs themselves, plus there are many photographs that a person can use under the right circumstances.  Also, there are almost innumerable photography subjects.  This all gives a wide range a person can draw from when using photography for poetry inspiration.

When using a photograph for poetry inspiration, how a poet uses the photograph might vary depending on circumstance.

If the photograph were personal to the poet or something that came with a clear emotional response for the poet, then the poet might be direct in their poetic expression.  If the poet is connected to the photograph, the ideas for the poetry inspired by it can flow naturally.

On the other hand, if the photograph were impersonal to the poet, then they might be broader in how they are inspired.

If a poet isn’t particularly connected to a photograph, they could find many avenues for inspiration.  They might start by just brainstorming associations with the photograph.  They could just list out things that come to mind when looking at the photo.  They might even take ideas that come from those first ideas and go further like in a game of word association.  A poet can see all kinds of symbolism in a photograph once they start thinking in that way.

Additionally, a poet might decide to focus on different aspects of a photograph.  They might be inspired by the main subject.  Alternatively, they could look for things in the background, or even things that are missing from the photograph, and see inspiration there.  A poet could also look at things such as shapes, colors and lighting for inspiration.  A poet could take different approaches and write multiple poems from the same picture.

Photography is a good tool for poetry inspiration because it gives a starting point and is broad for interpretation.  It can be a place for a poet to start writing when they can’t think of ideas and it can lead to many different ideas.

If you are looking for some photographs to inspire poetry, feel free to be inspired by the ones from this blog.  You can either just look at the photograph on the photographs and artwork page or you can read at the posts from the page for the category here: photographs for inspiration.  The posts give ideas for how the photography in them can inspire poetry and can be a good place to start.

 

P. S. This is the tenth poetry essay on this blog. When the category was started in November of last year, there was a mention that there would be ten posts in the category and then there would be a determination made if the category would continue. As this is the tenth post, it is time for the determination.

In M. Sakran’s opinion, the category has gone well.  The essays filled in a missing piece in the blog and added content that readers could get something from.  Altogether, the category seems alright.

There is the issue though of thinking of new poetry essays going forward.  Some categories on this blog are more difficult to write posts for than others because of the idea of finding something new.  This category is a bit like that.  There is some thought about how difficult it will be to think of new and interesting essay topics going forward.

That being said, as it stands now, the category will continue.  At the moment, its continuation is still on a trial basis though.  It will continue as long as new and interesting posts can be thought of for it.  There is some notion, that if it ends, that the ending will be thought about in advance, announced in advance and end at some nice sounding number.

For the time being though, the category will continue.

Bilingual Poem: Networking and Cronyism

Networking:

You,
get the job you want,
at a company,
because you have,
a friend there.

Cronyism:

Someone else,
gets the job you want,
at a company,
because they have,
a friend there.

 

Asociando:

Usted,
encuentra el trabajo quiere,
en una compañía,
porque tiene,
un amigo ahí.

Compinche:

Alguien otro,
encuentra el trabajo quiere,
en una compañía,
porque tienen,
un amigo ahí.

Experimental Poetry Form: nine squares

This experimental poetry form is called nine squares.  The poem is mainly based on the layout on the page.

The poem consists of nine stanzas.  Each stanza is a square.  Each stanza consists of three lines, with three words per line.  The poem is laid out in nine squares as shown below:

***                         ***                         ***
***                         ***                         ***
***                         ***                         ***

 

***                         ***                         ***
***                         ***                         ***
***                         ***                         ***

 

***                         ***                         ***
***                         ***                         ***
***                         ***                         ***

Each * represents a word and each block of *’s represents a stanza.  Depending on what the poet wants, the poem could be read by row or by column.  The spacing between columns can be variable as long as it is consistent between columns and gives the look of blocks as shown above.  The same notion applies to the spacing between rows.

 

P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” experimental poetry form on this blog. It is the one hundredth experimental poetry from that isn’t in some way part of something else, such as a post series.

A photograph to inspire poetry: tree tops in fog

tree tops in fog

Above is a photograph of tree tops in fog.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • Being in a foggy forest. They could write about being lost or not being able to see.  They could write about it positively in the sense that the fog was part of something mysterious but good.
  •  

  • A person being in a fog. They could use the idea metaphorically to write about a person who is confused or is not thinking clearly.
  •  

  • Flying through clouds. Because the fog is high in the trees it might remind a poet of flying in a plane through clouds.  A poet could write a poem about this.
  •  

  • Views on social issues. Depending on the issue, a poet could write about people related to it being in a fog.  They could either write about opponents of the issue or supporters.  The fog could imply that they are not seeing things clearly and are either thinking wrongly or not taking positive actions.

 

P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” photograph to inspire poetry on this blog. It is the one hundredth photograph to inspire poetry that isn’t in some way part of something else, such as a post series.

Artwork to inspire poetry: rose

Rose

Above is an artwork of a rose.  It can inspire poetry.  Here is a poem inspired by it:

waiting all winter
for you to return
counting the moons

 

P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” artwork to inspire poetry on this blog. It is the one hundredth artwork to inspire poetry that isn’t in some way part of something else, such as a post series.

Poem with an explanation: the bird and the berry tree

The flock of birds,
did land in the tree,
and all were chirping,
and dancing about.

The berries were red,
and bright and shined,
and all the birds,
did eat past full.

They stumbled about,
and fell from the tree,
and flew in wide circles,
and into the limbs.

As the morning did dawn,
the birds did sleep,
and some did stagger,
from all the berries.

And they did wait,
for night to fall,
and the berries to shine,
in the light of the moon.

And there was a bird,
who ate the bright berries,
and danced on the tree,
and waited for the moon.

It danced as it ate,
and flew about,
and chirped a loud song,
and was friend to all.

But there was a day,
as the sun did shine,
that the tree seemed dull,
in its bright light.

And the thought did grow,
with the passing nights,
and more and more,
the tree grew dark.

The bird did think,
of all there was,
that was so far,
from the berry tree.

And then for nights,
it came to the tree,
but did not dance,
and did not eat.

The other birds,
singing aloud,
looked at their friend,
and questioned its change.

The bird then spoke,
of the dull tree,
and all that was bright,
in the day’s sun.

But the other birds,
eating of berries,
did not understand,
what it had said.

Some asked questions,
some did debate,
many did push,
and try to change its ways.

But the bird did resolve,
to eat no berries,
but said it would,
still visit the tree.

The others though,
did shun the bird,
who did not eat,
or dance about.

They did speak ill,
and make loud jokes,
and taunt the bird,
who did not eat.

And in the sun,
with sorrowful eyes,
the bird did leave,
the berry tree.

And when all knew,
they did laugh loud,
and ate more berries,
and danced about.

And the bird flew,
far from the tree,
and over a mountain,
and to a glen.

The air was clear,
a river did flow,
there were seeds of grass,
and a bright sun.

And as it sat,
and felt the warmth,
it heard a sound,
it did not know.

There in the grass,
where it couldn’t see,
were other birds,
who sang each day.

They sang a song,
of sun and warmth,
that the one bird,
did not know.

And it sang back,
and found new friends,
who sang of sun,
in the warm glen.

And days did shine,
upon the bird,
who found a home,
in the tall grass.

 

This poem is about drinking.  In the poem there is a person who drinks with friends regularly at a bar.  One day, this person decides to stop drinking.  This causes the person’s friends to shun the person.  The person then stops going to the bar and finds new friends.

The idea of the poem is to show a situation where someone changes their behavior for the better, but it has negative consequences from their peers.  Although here, the idea was applied to drinking alcohol, the idea could be applied to many situations.  For example, think of a person who decides to become a vegetarian but who has friends who eat lots of meat.  Those friends might question the person, debate with person, poke at the person and at some point stop being friends with the person because the person changed their ways and became different from them.

The poem is made of stanzas that have four lines each.

In the first stanza, the person and their friends arrive at the bar.  The group is described as The flock of birds.  The bar is described as a tree.  Everyone is happy and having a good time (all were chirping and dancing about).

In the second stanza, the alcohol they drink is described as berries that were red.  The drinks are enticing – they were bright and shined.  All the people at the bar (all the birds) drank excessively (did eat past full).

In the third stanza, the alcohol affects the group.  It affects their coordination and behavior.  They are described as stumbling, falling, flying in wide circles, and flying into limbs.

In the fourth stanza, it is the morning (as the morning did dawn) and the birds are hungover.  They sleep and some stagger from the alcohol (from all the berries).

In the fifth stanza, despite their hangovers, the people are waiting for night (And they did wait, for night to fall) so they can drink again (the berries to shine).

The sixth stanza introduces the main person (And there was a bird).  This person was like their friends and drank (ate the bright berries), partied (danced on the tree), and waited for each night (and waited for the moon).

In the seventh stanza, this person is shown as the life of the party.  They danced and drank (ate).  They partied (flew about) and were full of excitement (and chirped a loud song).  Everyone liked them (and was friend to all).

But one day (But there was a day), shown in the eighth stanza, during the day (as the sun did shine) that for some reason, looking at the bar in the daylight (in its bright light), it didn’t seem like such a fun place to the person (the tree seemed dull).

In the ninth stanza, the person thinks about this (And the thought did grow) as it went to the bar each night (with the passing nights).  As the person started to really see what the bar was like it seemed less and less like a place they wanted to be (the tree grew dark).

In the tenth stanza, the person starts to think (The bird did think) of all they were missing by going to bar (of all there was, that was so far, from the berry tree).

In the eleventh stanza, the person still goes to the bar (And then for nights, it came to tree), but they don’t dance (but did not dance) and they don’t drink (and did not eat).

In the twelfth stanza, the person’s peers (The other birds), who are having a great time at the bar (singing aloud) wonder what might be wrong with their friend (looked at their friend, and questioned its change).

In the thirteenth stanza, the person explains the change that they feel (The bird then spoke).  They talk about how the bar doesn’t seem so good to them (of the dull tree) and of all there was besides the bar (and all that was bright, in the day’s sun).

In the fourteenth stanza, all the person’s drinking peers (But the other birds, eating of berries) didn’t understand what the person was talking about (did not understand, what it had said).

In the fifteenth stanza, some ask questions (Some asked questions), some debated (some did debate) and many tried to change the person (many did push, and try to change its ways).

In the sixteenth stanza, the person does not give to the arguments (But the bird did resolve), and decided that they would no longer drink (to eat no berries).  Despite this though, because of their friends, they say that will still come to the bar (but said it would, still visit the tree).

In the eighteenth stanza, the friends respond negatively to this (The others though, did shun the bird, who did not eat, or dance about).

In the nineteenth stanza, they talk bad about the person (They did speak ill), make jokes about them (and make loud jokes), and taunt the person (and taunt the bird) because they did not drink (who did not eat).

Because of this, one day (And in the sun), as shown in the twentieth stanza, the person is sad (with sorrowful eyes) and they stop coming to the bar (the bird did leave, the berry tree).

In the twenty first stanza, when the other people learned this (And when all knew), they laughed (they did laugh loud), drank more (ate more berries) and continued their party (and danced about).

In the twenty second stanza, the person looks for new place to go (And the bird flew, far from the tree, and over a mountain, and to a glen).  They find a coffee shop to go to, described as a glen.

At the coffee shop, in the twenty third stanza, things are different than the bar (The air was clear, a river did flow).  There were non-alcoholic drinks (there were seeds of grass) and everything seemed brighter in the daylight (and a bright sun).

In the twenty fourth stanza, the person sits outside at the coffee shop (And as it sat, and felt the warmth).  While they are there, they hear people talking (it heard a sound, it did not know).

In the twenty fifth stanza, the person listens to other people talking (There in the grass, where it couldn’t see, were other birds, who sang each day).

In the twenty sixth stanza, the people at the coffee shop are talking about things different than what the person heard at the bar (They sang a song, of sun and warmth, that the one bird, did not know).

In the twenty seventh stanza, the person decides to talk to the people at the coffee shop (And it sang back), and they make new friends (and found new friends).

In the twenty eighth stanza, the person is happy (And days did shine, upon the bird, who found a home, in the tall grass).

 

P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” poem with an explanation on this blog. It is the one hundredth poem with an explanation that isn’t in some way part of something else, such as a post series.

 

P. S. S. If you like poems with explanations, you might check out M. Sakran’s eBook Understanding: poems with explanations.

Poetry topic idea: incoherence

Today’s poetry topic idea is incoherence.  There are a number of reasons a person might be incoherent.  It might be from a medical condition, from an accident, from drug use, from hunger or from something else.  A poet could write about what it is like to be incoherent.  They could write about themselves or another person.  They could write the poem in a clear way, and describe the incoherence, or they could write the poem in an incoherent way, and have the poem express it in that way.  A poet could look at the cause of incoherence and its consequences.  They might look at the progression of it and the relief from it.

P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” poetry topic idea on this blog. It is the one hundredth poetry topic idea that isn’t in some way part of something else, such as a post series.

Poem: Walking along

Walking along,
seeing the billboard,
reading the words,
and thinking some thoughts.

Walking along,
seeing the sign,
seeing the pictures,
and wondering some things.

Walking along,
seeing the speaker,
hearing the words,
and contemplating some things.

Walking along,
seeing the door,
holding the handle,
and pondering some things.

Walking along,
seeing the inside,
observing the contents,
but leaving the place.

 

P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” poem on this blog. It is the one hundredth poem that wasn’t in some way part of something else, like a poem series, a post series, a poem with an explanation or so forth.

Milestone: 100th of certain types of posts

Counting today’s post, there have been 965 posts on this blog.  The main categories of posts have been: poems, poems with explanations, artwork to inspire poetry, poetry topic ideas, experimental poetry forms, photographs for inspiration, bilingual poems and the new addition, poetry essays.

For the first six categories listed, there have been 99 of each of those posts.  For the bilingual poems there have been 69 posts and for the poetry essays there have been 9.  Those numbers do not include posts that were part of posts series, poem series, or other types of posts that may have had one or more of those types of things in them.

This means, for the first six categories, a milestone is about to occur: the 100th of each of those types of posts.

100 is an important number, so the milestone.  Hopefully readers have enjoyed the posts and the blog so far and hopefully they will continue to do so.

Hopefully everyone will enjoy the upcoming milestone posts.

A photograph to inspire poetry: dead leaf on the end of a branch

dead leaf on the end of a branch

Above is a photograph of a dead leaf on the end of a branch.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • Death. The leaf is dead and it could inspire a poet to write about the subject.
  •  

  • Hanging on. While the leaf is dead, it is still hanging onto the tree.  There is a sense of persistence.  A poet could apply this idea to poetry.
  •  

  • Finality. At some point the leaf will fall from the tree.  It is right before the moment of finality.  A poet could apply the idea of finality to many situations.  There are many last moments of things (not all bad) that a poet could write about.
  •  

  • Rebirth. While the leaf is dead and about to fall, buds can also be seen on the branch.  The tree and branch are not dead, only dormant.  At some point, the tree will have a rebirth.  A poet could apply this idea in a poem.