That was until I met Postcard #49. It is a paper collage from a fine art postcard series, 30 Contemporary Women Artists. And it had me stumped for months.
|Detail from Postcard 49.|
See full information at the bottom of this post.
I let that sit for several months while I was teaching. When I went back to the poem, there was one salvageable line: "They have spent all day eating white paper petals."
|The petals and shadows of the water lily are a fitting|
subject for the depth and layers of collage art.
I tried the poem in the voice of one of the water nymphs. This draft was called "Cut Out Woman." See, I can write provocative titles, too. But the poem? Bleh.
That's when I threw the early drafts out, gave up trying to create a meaningful poem, and took my own advice. Remember this "points of entry" exercise?
With your postcard (or other prompt: object, idea, memory), jot down:
1. Visual image
2. A word or phrase that jumps out at you
3. An image using one of your other four senses (not visual)
4. Is there something to research?
5. A personal connection
One of these will lead you down the path to the poem.
|Is your path to the poem free of obstacles.|
Mine certainly wasn't! Look out for those pesky water nymphs.
Leo is my lion stride.
I’m velvet paws and kingly-eyed.
Pard is panther’s sinewed gait.
I climb up trees. I watch and wait.
A hybrid beast, the ancients said,
as if I had an eagle’s head
and mere spots on my dappled coat,
where sun and shadows swim and float,
as if my grace could be defined
or catalogued by human mind.
Patience is a hunter’s work,
and silent is the leopard’s lurk.
by Laura Shovan
30 Contemporary Women Artists
Beverly Bigwood (American, b. 1952)
Post Coital, 1988. Paper collage, 27 x 45 in.
© 1988 Beverly Bigwood
Pomegranate ● Box 808022 ● Petaluma, CA 94975
Have a wonderful Poetry Friday and happy Summer Solstice to all this evening! Today's host is Carol at Carol's Corner.
The process of poets fascinates me, and this one was no exception. All of your different entry ways into the poem are so interesting. I've been experimenting with multi-genre research with kids and this would be a perfect example to share! I especially love those last two lines!
Thanks, Carol. Please do try the exercise with your students and let me know how it goes. I really love this "points of entry" exercise because it gives writers options when we're feeling stuck.
Yay, another postcard poem! Excellent :-) I especially like "Pard is panther’s sinewed gate" and the ending (but I think you want to change "gate" to "gait.")
I also liked Julia's parody from the last post. We're on vacation at the moment -- glad my insomnia gave me a chance to visit you!
Thank you for catching my typo, Tabatha!
Your advice is good advice for you and for all of us! The poem turned out great!
I love this post, hearing your struggles, and following your path. The resulting poem is wonderful. I have written down the points of entry exercise for students or for myself. Great advice.
I am enjoying all of these poetry prompts. I'm sure I would have been better at poetry if you were my teacher! :) Lovely poems.
I love the "points of entry." Very helpful! Thank you!
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