7:26 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Iz singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
Hello, all. Listening to Iz singing this song makes everything feel better, at least, for the moment. Such a lovely rendition, especially for a Spring/Autumn morning, that’s waa-aay too early. I am in my computer corner, the sun not yet over the horizon, a single lamp trained on my keyboard. First cup of coffee is gone; the next is down the road a bit.
The images I chose for you to play with have a small back story. Last week I was emailing back and forth with my brother [his version of chat] and sent him the following to express how I was feeling:
While discussing the type of bird, he interrupted with: It looks like Gee Gee. I returned to the photo and laughed. It does, indeed, look like our grandmother.
Two days later a site I follow, Where Cool Things Happen, posted: ‘More Than Human Animal Portraits,’ a series by photographer Tim Flach. You’re getting glimmerings of the prompt, aren’t you?
Head over and look at the photographs. Take your time. As you review them, allow your brain to roam through your family, or friends, or co-workers, or someone you saw who is memorable to you.
When your brain says, That’s it. That’s Uncle George [or Cousin Melanie, or your spouse, or the Starbucks barista who serves you regularly, or your boss…], stop and look at the image for several minutes, picking out what it is that makes the resemblance uncanny. For my brother and myself, it’s the white cloud of ‘hair,’ the eyes, a little, and something else, undefinable.
You are going to write a portrait poem. When you have your image and your person, think of words associated with your particular animal and jot them down. Jot down another list, of things you associate with your chosen person. The likeness can be other than a facial feature. Maybe it’s the stride of the animal, or the way it holds its arms, or its hairstyle [so to speak].
What you do now is up to where your mind is taking you. You might write a poem where you use some of the words associated with your chosen animal as ways to describe your chosen person. They can be threaded throughout, but you never mention the animal. The poem stands on its own.
You might be less direct and use similes. Here you mention the animal, either briefly once, or all the way through.
You might choose to set your person within the context of a scene, or memory. How the person behaves, or reacts, helps illustrate the person’s likeness to the animal you chose.
I am giving you the link to the photographer’s site because the opening page is so cool. Then click on portfolio–>More Than Human. The slideshow has 61 slides. You can certainly watch and choose one of those. To stop a slide, mouse underneath the photos and thumbnails will show up. Click on the one you want to look at more closely.
Think of it as finding a new perspective on someone. I know: this is one of those prompts where you try to figure out what exactly I am asking you to do. As always, that’s okay. Write poems.Post.
I shall see you Thursday for stuff; Friday for the week’s prompt roundup; and that’s it until May 6. The blog will be active, but with my Oulipo poem a day challenge. Follow along for some very different prompts.
Happy writing, all.