I thought I’d start a creative diversion—some poetry. I do not consider myself a poet by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes phrases come to me, such as this one yesterday while I was out walking the dogs. I thought I’d try to catch these thoughts before they slip away …
The kids have been on school holidays for the past two weeks and our eldest has been back home. It’s lovely having them all around the dinner table, the house once again filled with kids and teens and dogs and noise—and mess. We’ve had long, lazy days in our PJ’s, where we’ve barely rolled our slow bodies from the couch. We’ve done a few things—like ice skating at Winter Wonderland and watching movies. They’ve caught up on overdue appointments at the dentist and hairdresser, and I’ve washed their school jumpers, dry-cleaned the blazers, and buffed their shoes ready for another term.
I’ve barely done any writing and I’ve not been able to give it much thought, not with four other people in the house interrupting my peace. Out of the blue yesterday morning, an idea came to me about something that I’d been wanting to write for a long time, something that’s been simmering in my mind but that I didn’t know how to approach. I knew, kind of, what I wanted to say, but I had no idea where to start, or how to do it. Suddenly, the answer came and I now know what I want to write …
I learned, once again, the value of letting my mind rest and be idle, not that I think the mind ever truly rests—I think it’s constantly sifting and sorting and knows the answer well before we’re conscious of it. I wonder, sometimes, if there’s too much noise in my deliberate thinking mind, and it’s only when I let that part of my brain rest that I hear my subconscious speak …
If anyone would like to join me in this snapshot poetry venture, let me know and we can link to each other. We could share our snapshots and poems on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag, #snapshotpoetry. Even if you don’t want to commit to posting once a week, just let me know if you have something and I can share it here or link to your website. As you can see from the above, it’s not Banjo or Dorothea, just words that capture a moment in the way a photo does.
Sure sounds like it’ll be fun
Let’s give it a bash, Penny! If you don’t have a camera to take your own photos, you can find free ones on creative commons websites. There’s quite a few, and people have written blog posts on where to find them. I know Flickr is commonly used, or just google it …
I used ‘Canva’ to add the text, but it has taken me a fair while to learn how to do that! They do have tutorials that make it seem easy, but I must say, I made about twenty of them before I got two good ones that I could use! Picmonkey is the other site where you can add text to a photo. It types the words straight on to the photo, i.e., without the colour background. I tried that, but the writing got lost amongst the flowers. You need a dark photo with white writing, or a light photo with dark writing for that to work.
Anyway, that all might be a bit complicated for you to start with. Still, you could start with the words as I know you have some beautiful turns of phrase, and post them. Or send them to me and I could find a photo for you …
Thanks for joining in! Should be fun. I think I’ll call it #snapshotpoetry.
In three unsentimental lines, this becomes a poem, reflecting on the power of the unconscious. It’s no accident that it reminds me of Virgil’s Georgics:
” What makes a plenteous harvest, when to turn
the fruitful soil, and when to sow the corn;
the care of sheep, of oxen and of kine;
and how to raise on elms the teeming vine;
the birth and genius of the frugal bee,
I sing, Maecenas, and I sing to thee.”
It’s not accidental, because exploring the unconscious as a poet connects us to the collective memory I think we all share as a culture, in the West. Please keep writing, without feeling self-conscious. A snapshot poem can appear from the searching mind like a particle.
My snapshot poem:
Thank you, Charles! I love your snapshot poem and encourage everyone to click on the link and view it. I agree with everything you’ve said—our subconscious is so powerful and I love it when I can connect with it. It comes up with ideas that are more unique than anything my conscious mind could think of!
Hello Charles, my name is Tricia and your snapshot poem touches me in the depth of my being. Thankyou.
I’ve just been reading your website, Charles—your words are so evocative. I remember now where I read about you—on Lee Kofman’s blog, and the astounding poem you wrote age twelve. Thank you so much for visiting my humble website!
Hi Louise, I’m afraid I have never got poetry, I know I’m missing out somehow xxx
Rae, I don’t always ‘get’ poetry either, nor do I like all of it. But sometimes, it is music and so soothing.
Louise I love your idea. And your snapshot poem is simply beautiful. As a poetry lover I’m excited by this new direction, this opportunity to search for words for the profundity of life’s simple beauty.
Thanks, Tricia. I thought you’d like it! I hope I can sustain it (eeek!)—maybe I’ll have to borrow from the greats from time-to-time! We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping others will join in if they can. I’ll still write my usual posts too, but this will add a bit of variety and hopefully some visual appeal. Besides, I love playing with photos!