Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by johntoennessen, Jun 11, 2020.
Shot in Tel Aviv near my hotel, which overlooked the Mediterranean
I've never attempted to write poetry so I can't say for certain whether I can or can't. Certainly not 10,000 words! But perhaps 20-100 at a time if I really wanted to write. IMHO, poetry is the literary equivalent of visual (and tactile) art. At best, it concisely and eloquently expresses the poet's feelings, emotions, reactions to situations in reality, messages he/she wants to communicate, etc.
Unfortunately, I agree with you that most folks in Western Europe are far more interesting in lining their pockets with gold. And that most of the Western world is generally mindless. One of the (few) positive things about COVID-19 lockdown in Europe is that more people have started to think more about what's really important to them and have decided to make changes. One of my former 'teachers' said that for many people, daily life is like living in a washing machine on spin: everything's happening fast and you only ever touch the (outer) surface. Only when you stop (as has happened through COVID-19) you fall back into the center, reconnect with your deeper self and can decide how you want to go forward.
I'm a great admirer of Buddhist (and secular) teachers and organizations who continue to show and promote the benefits of mindfulness. For individuals and for society. It's been proven helpful for medical patients and in other therapeutic situations.
John, first of all, I did make one other post prior to now If you'd like to read that, OK fine, I said it, and it still applies, IMO. But here's a bit more of a critique.
I'd like to see this original photo. As others have noted, the crop seems awkward and the color cast seems just a little too... something. Off-putting (@samstevens)? Then again it's a photo of the "land of your dreams", so. And you've clearly done some work on the photo to get it to here from original. But it'd be nice, from my perspective- and I think others agree, to see the original shot.
I've done a lot of cropping over the years, for sure. As I've learned more about photography tho, I usually stick to a set format or "size". 4:3 is typical, I like 3:2. A true or traditional pano crop would probably be 16:9. One of my film cameras shoots a 6cm X 6cm square. Since these are long established photographic formats, they don't tend to alienate our subconscious- IMO sticking to established means and mores gives things better & stronger longevity. So you might revisit the photo in its original form and reconsider your crop and treatment. One of the very best pieces of advice I ever got is to get the photo as close to perfect as possible, in camera. First & foremost. Then do a bit of post production work on it as needed. Honestly, this crop (and crops like this in general) tend to make me think, "here's a person who shot some stuff and cropped all the unnecessary elements out to get to this". Now days, I shoot more purposefully, with the advice to get the shot in camera the first time- in the front of my mind.
Now, on to the poem. I like poetry in general and of course poetry has been set to art, added to photos, has had musical accompaniment, etc etc. By my way of thinking there is a totally legitimate space for combining poetry with a photo. Your poem is nice, if not a wee bit long. We (the royal we, as in We People Of The World) are in hurry-up mode these days. I'm going to say that with most folks, you have roughly 10-15 seconds- at best. If peoples' eyes fuzz over within the first 3 to 5 seconds, you've lost them completely. I love the overall sentiment of your poem, but I had to force myself to slow down long enough to read every word. If it were way shorter, I'd be better off with it- and this is just me personally. But as presented, I'd say you have a poem accompanied by a photograph, not so much a photo with a poem- simply because, as presented, the poem is so much more than the photo.
Somewhere in there is a nice balance. I like where you've taken this, and I encourage you to do more. I also encourage you to consider how things present.
In this instance, your posted photo appears as little more than a thumbnail. Certainly, this was a grand scene. Maybe you have this printed and hung in your living room at 16 by 96 inches. If so, its impact is no doubt more impressive. Please also give more thought to how your overall presentation of the poem and the photo are going to mesh in real time. It's one thing to do some inner ruminating and dream up a landscape and nice sentiment for yourself. But if you plan to invite others along for the ride, think about their comfort and willingness to climb aboard, sit back, and enjoy the journey.
You know, honestly maybe this is a question of just how & where you see this being shown. At a poetry reading, with the photo behind you as you read aloud? Framed on your wall in your living room with the poem meticulously hand scribed upon the matting? In a gallery with other artists and more works of your own? Or in a much more private space where people who may see it have time to absorb it all?
This sort of thing, IMO, needs to be compelling at first glance, then has to draw a viewer in and hold them. It needs just the right amount of depth to keep people engaged- but it can't be scary, and it can't ask too much of anybody. Seek the balance. It's there somewhere, and I think you're on the right track.
Exactly. Nobody wants to bounce across any expanse in the back of a bus. We'd much rather take a 30 minute flight in air-conditioned comfort!
Also agreed. This world moves quickly, Presentation is everything. Many of us have slowed way down lately, but not everybody has. I wrote a few minutes ago that with most folks one only has a few seconds to grab them. If you miss the grab or alienate them immediately, you;ve lost them and for the most part, won't get them back.
Mindfulness is a lovely thing to have. it's a bit of luxury for some some, not everybody can afford the time! Others simply won't allow the time or give theirs up with any ease.
Poetry is an area that I think many people just don't understand. Photography is something that everybody takes for granted because they all take endless numbers of "photos" with their phones. In today's world, to draw somebody in for more than a couple seconds, one really needs to create something that makes people WANT to slow down and/or stop.
In a world of shiny distractions moving at light-speed, one really needs to apply serious mindfulness to any project one hopes will gain any attention at all.
John and Ricochet - - I've written a poem quite a while ago. It's about poetry. Let me know if you're interested in reading it.
I'll happily read your poem, Michael! I saw the one above, I like it. I honestly like when things adept together like this, but it has to be accessible (for me, I suppose).
I'll find an image with which I can pair the poem. Since it's 5 stanzas, I'm just going to use the last.
Here it is.
Seems like an anti-poem.
A new term, Sam?
Most poetry exemplifies words as genuine expressions of and often inducements to passion and feeling rather than contrived surrogates for them. You’re describing the opposite of that.
Isn't this a somewhat narrow characterization of poetry? FWIW, when I wrote those lines, I was immersed in Asian religious philosophy. I still value mystical experience. If I had written something resembling a koan, would you say the same thing?
No. Can you cite a poem that doesn’t express or induce feeling?
I commented on the words you wrote. I have no reason to entertain hypotheticals. All I did was to observe that you used the words of a poem to suggest words are contrived substitutes for feelings. That feels like an anti-poetry sentiment to me. It’s just my opinion and doesn’t require any sort of proof.
By the way, this doesn’t have to be taken as a criticism. Given the sentiment of the poem, I would think an anti-poetry reaction wouldn’t be unexpected.
I get it now, Sam. Perhaps if I had posted the entire poem, my intent for it would have been somewhat more transparent.
Two arts, one drive to capture
Both light and shadow
It was a fair trade:
I took a bit of the road's dust
Away on my boots
And left a piece of my heart
in it's place.
The dust is long gone
From my boots
And I am long gone
From that forest
But a part of me beats on
In that country road.
Two arts, one drive to capture
Both light and shadow
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears"
For sure, words like all at forms of Art, have something to say.
wow you took quite a bit of your time to write to me concerning this post and thank you for your opinions. I will be honest it would take quite a while to find the original of this and in fact do not recall it it was film or digitally shot. From my recollection this was taken while on the causeway to Antelope island which I am guessing is between 2 and 3 miles long. I stopped somewhere along the way and took this shot along with others because the sky and the clouds were so surreal to me. I have never seen the sky look like this. It was not a great shot by any means but when I cropped it to what you see it inspired the poem.
Now the poem, yes it is a bit long but understand my upbringing, I was raised and educated in a catholic school where we attended mass daily which was done in Latin and then there were those Gregorian chants that do not seem to end. my dna was changed by that.
Now the purpose was simply to express my feelings at the time and hope to inspire others like you. In that sense I feel I succeeded by the response on here. I never had intentions of wall hanging etc. Like you said the picture is more like a thumbnail than anything. As you can see I do not visit here often but that could change with me also. I will try to find the original of this shot and reluctantly post it here.
others who took to the time to read and reply Thank you for your input and attention.
in-between time I will be posting a new shot from Kohler-Andrae State Park. I camped there about a week ago.
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