I generally prefer to look at photographs without any distraction on the page. I enjoy clean lay-outs, devoid of the mark of the designer (though it was probably well designed if there are no distractions from the image). However, just as a good musical selection can add layering and fullness to a slide show, some texts compliment photographs so perfectly that the sum is greater than the parts. This is a difficult thing to achieve so I have set myself the task of doing just that. In addition to the projects that I have working currently, I am creating a book of the poems I have written that were inspired by photographs. I have often had the experience where words or a phrase will rise up from an image and will not go away until I’ve written them down, or worked out a poem from those initial sparks. It’s a very scary prospect, but I will be posting a few images and poems here on the blog. Allow me to say this: I know NOTHING about poetry other than what I like…..so please don’t recommend this blog to a poetry professor! (Or if so, find one capable of compassionate criticism?) I did include several poems in the book I collaborated on with Dominique Barbier, Meditation for Two. The response has been remarkably positive and I am encouraged to develop the work.
Here are a couple of images and excerpts of poems; the first from The Chapel of St. John in the Tower of London, circa 1080, and the second from the Dunker Church on Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland, circa 1852.
thoughts of Saints, and many others…
All these you´ve heard and sealed in stone.
Held in that light, that
glorious, golden tone.
No blast of rifles or
burst of cannons
No shouted orders or
pleas in desperation
pleas for life and for home
No clattering of wagon´s wheels
bearing shattered young men
No drips or splatters from the
rasp of steel on bone
No cries of mothers or daughters
of fathers and sons or wives in agonizing
in this humble church.