Visual poetry


Afternoon shadows

Afternoon shadows

I’ve never been real big on poetry. But I think I’m starting to get it, and visual learner that I am–I think I have been doing it all along. My favorite type of images to make are those that incorporate identifiable items, and putting them in a context that asks the viewer to take a second look. I like to infuse my images with visuals that invite an emotional response at some level. I am reading a book called “Anatomy of the Soul” by Curt Thompson. The book explores the integration of neuroscience and attachment with Christian Spirituality. He makes a case of how you can “rewire” your brain such that you can experience God in a more real way. Yes, it is left brain and right brain  stuff, and it is a fascinating read. I just read a section about how poetry can help integrate the brain. It made a lot of sense to me, and I can relate to it in terms of how I like to approach photography.

Poetry is another powerful literary tool. It has several distinct features:

  • By activating our sense of rhythm, poetry accesses our right-mode operations and systems.
  • Reading poetry has the effect of catching us off guard. Our imaginations are invigorated when out usual linear expectations of prose (that one word will follow obediently behind another on the way to a predictable end) don’t apply. This can stimulate buried emotional states and layers of memory.
  • Finally, poetry not only appeals to right-mode processing, but to left mode as well, given its use of language. This makes it a powerful imaginative tool.”                Anatomy of the Soul, p. 150
rainy day

rainy day

What intrigued me is the incorporation of the expected and the unexpected. The photos in this post all have recognizable elements to it, be it patterns, lines, shapes, colors…or just the subject matter itself. But my intent is to catch the viewer off guard in the way the items are juxtaposed, layered, or framed in an unexpected way.

 

 

The description above provides a good understanding of what poetry can do, and it quite perfectly describes what I like to do with my images. It is all about engaging the viewers imagination and evoking an emotion or response from both sides of the brain.

man and nature

man and nature

I guess we can call that “visual poetry.”

One Comment

  1. virginia wieringa February 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Yes, you are a visual poet!

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