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.