Do you love poetry? Me, too! Did you know that since 1996, the Academy of American Poets has deemed April as National Poetry Month? Maybe you’re like me in that you really enjoy poetry as a painting-with-words form of expression, but you don’t remember to indulge in it as often as you’d like. I’m here to help!
In Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media, author Liz Lamoreux helps you use poetry to dig deep and unearth new things about yourself (and your self) that below the surface you may have known, but weren’t yet nurturing. She offers many prompts and exercises in her book for putting words down in a poetic way and she makes this easy for anyone—no previous poetry experience required! Here is an example of one exercise I just did myself from the book.
I see a woman . . .with breath bear-warm and steady.
I see a woman . . .face against glass, eager to open.
I see a woman . . .peddling sand, hand-in-hand.
I see a woman . . .trading no day for the everyday.
Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art by Quinn McDonald explores not only haiku—one of my favorite forms of poetry—but also a great way for beginners to get started composing—the art of found poetry. I love found poetry for its surprise element; I always discover something new about myself when I make a found poem. If you’ve never tried this before, Quinn walks you through it and offers great tips for more than one method.
And for those of you who are already somewhat comfortable writing poetry, I really think you should check out Katie Kendrick’s book, Layered Impressions: A Poetic Approach to Mixed-Media Painting. Katie gives so many beautiful examples in her book of how to marry your love of words and painting. She shows you how to put words to what you feel when you look at your work, as well as how to paint something that reflects the words you captured in a particular poem or simple but emotive prose.
In addition to consulting these inspiring books, I also found some fun online with a Poetry Idea Engine, and it reminded me how much I love writing limericks, since I get such a ridiculously large thrill out of rhyming. If you’ve never written a limerick before, you can have some fun here with the Limerick Maker. Here’s just one limerick I wrote a few months ago during a Facebook limerick duo with a friend.
I knew of a girl who loved maps,
I’m sure on her phone she had apps.
Over mountains she’d go,
With the sea far below,
Sometimes breaking for snacks or a nap.
Am I temping you to start composing yet? Here is a fun list of 30 ideas to bring more poetry into your life this month. I even downloaded a rhyming app for the iPhone, called Rhyme Time, which is simply divine and a great poetic partner in crime. Sorry.
Now go and celebrate your poetic self before I share any more silly examples!
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS