How One Thing Leads to Another
I’ve been wanting for some time to explore ways of blending or merging words and images, in particular, photos and poems. Partly because it’s what I’m being nudged towards for my own material, and partly because I think this would be a creative and accessible way to teach others what can happen when you start to play with words.
One of the things I wanted to explore was found poetry. I’m no expert on this, simply learning from books and google…
Found poetry is:
a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry by making changes in spacing and/or lines (and consequently meaning), or by altering the text by additions and/or deletions. (from Wikipedia)
I wanted to start somewhere simple, so decided to try gathering words and phrases from magazines that I could then use to create a collaged poem (an approach described here by Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward: The Text Collage)
How Our Stories Are Interwoven
I started gathering words that were mainly related to landscapes in Scotland (I had a lot of promotional magazines from tourist boards and ferry companies in the house, and was using them as source material).
But as I started cutting I realised I was connecting to a different place and a different story.
To the lives of people I don’t know, if you buy the old-fashioned idea that you don’t ‘really’ know people online, to the moving tale of one friend helping another in the final stages of the journey from life, to death.
I did not know Nina (rhymes with China) McIntosh, educator, author, nor could you say I really know her friend, Patti Digh, simply that I know Patti’s story, her values, her teaching, her take on the world, through her words. (And if you want a very powerful wake up call about remembering not just to smell the roses but feel her thorns, read this.)
And I realised, somehow, that what Patti had shared about the last few nights of vigil were working their way into my own words.
This is the poem that emerged, with the backdrop photo capturing a moment of illumination on the Clyde. I’m not sure what to call this either, other than simply: thank you.
Here’s how it’s turned out:
The poem reads
Your watching heart
A summer of holding
Touch that allows attention.
To live in the air
Only a stream between here
And complete freedom.
Thank you thank you.
I don’t quite know what to make of this other than that I got a huge amount of personal satisfaction from creating it. That I felt connected to a deeper story as I worked. That I wanted and needed to share it.
And that this wasn’t really an act of finding poems at all, but letting poems find you.
Have you ever experimented with finding poems, or letting poems find you? What happened next?