Working from Images: Perspective and Voice

Workshop from December 17, 2012: Working from Images: Perspective & Voice

“This month’s workshop will again focus on creating from images. We’re asking each participant to bring a single image (photograph, newspaper/magazine photo, illustration… whatever speaks to you). During the workshop, we’ll write from all/each, and examine the different ways individual poets approach the same subject (the image). So come ready to create & be inspired!”


Here were the 3 images we poemed from in about 10 minutes each:

After poeming, ponder these:

what spoke to you from the image?
what from the image particularly did you want to convey in the poem? mood? point? (literally/figuratively) tone? color? your own interpretation/story?
what did you use to get the message across? literal transcription of what you saw? description of color/light/shadow/shape? inference of backstory? etc
what poetic devices did you use to convey this? metaphor? analogy? alliteration? rhyme? rhythm? line breaks/lengths? etc
where are “you” in this poem-from-an-image?


Feel free to use any or all of the images as take-off points for a poem yourself, and even (especially!) to share your piece(s) in the comments below.


To break the ice, here is my 10-minute response to the second image:


is grass-and-azure empty, her horizon cut-
off right below where heart should be.
there are daisies
in her navel, over

her palms, thighs; she
is open-handed. clouds
shroud her blue-skied breasts,
her blue-hued head. she

stands planted, blouse-
less, face
down. if i could fill
the yellow eyes

of her knees & thumbs & finger-
tips with skin made
of green-growing words, i
would say:

the heavens
in yourself and look


Doug’s poem to the first image:

A Red Roof

Alone it stood
With boarded doors
And shuttered windows,
Rising from a field
Grown over and untended,
For so much depends
On a beige brick building
With a red roof.

Doug Tanoury, 12/17/12


…And Vernon’s poem from the third:

Sunday Afternoon Coloring

For the first time,
the young one finally
colored within the lines
taking his time to make sure
each contour had the right
amount of shading.  His Dad,
halfway watching him perform
his artistic exercise and the
Giants on TV again not converting
on third down, wanted to tell
his son that he was using the
wrong colors for the flowers.
But he held back,
realizing the boy was accomplishing
something grand on his own
with no instructions needed.
So he let the little one
continue to navigate his way
through his picture, leaving Dad
now with only worrying about
if his team can pull this game out.

Vernon Wildy Jr, 12/17/12


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