Friday, April 29, 2011

Poems to Pictures

In honor of National Poetry Month, I hosted a poetry workshop entitled Poems to Pictures. Author and poet Ruth Baja Williams read the poems she'd set to a series of watercolors by artist Jane Andrle Gillette, photos of which we're projected for viewing.  Workshop participants then chose from a selection of magazine and postcard pictures set out on a table, and crafted their own poem to picture. The results were stunning. In just 30 minutes, drafts were completed, read aloud, and appreciated. My favorite is Remember the Lake, by George Mason University creative writing student Benjamin Renne.  He chose a magazine photo of Morning, Lake George, an 1871 oil on canvas by A T Bricher.

Morning, Lake George. Oil on canvas by A T Bricher 1871
Remember the Lake
By Benjamin Renne

Remember the lake
That swollen Autumn morning
When you and me and Jack went
Out for a row. We brought
The tackle box and the rods and
A paper bag full of fried egg sandwiches.

Remember the rocks
In the middle of the silent
Pond, frost covered and slick. They
Were the giants and the sirens,
Enticing fantasies and chimeras which
Even brave Ulysses can’t avoid.

Remember the shoreline,
How it seemed so far away
When we were alone, the three
Of us in the middle of the peaceful lake.
The pebble beach, littered with goose
Shit, was far away. So far.

Remember the trees,
Bare of life and slanted
Like an old man with a broken
Back. The birds, which used to
Call those dead trees home, would
Sing to us on that frosty morning.

Remember the sky
And the mountains gray,
Fading into the background, where the
Fog blends everything together
So that the future is masked
With the low clouds, fuzzy and unpredictable.

Remember the car,
The smell of fish
Which permeated the leather seats,
And Jack complained the whole way back.
My boots were wet and stunk still
Of the lake, but I smiled.
Remember the lake?

Other posts on poetry:
April is National Poetry Month
Franz Schubert and Friedrich Rückert: Poetry and Music
Late Wife
When Writing a Poem
MLB, Opening Day

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful poem! In 30 minutes, very cool! What a great workshop.