Monday, 5 October 2009

Monday poem - it's a picture

OK, it's Monday and recently that can mean only one thing...it's TFE's Monday poem time. I was a bit busy last week writing like a possessed person but I did squeeze in a look at the task at some point. This week's assignment was to look at the photos at this post (oh, and this one), choose a photo, look at it again and then write something. To begin with I picked the kind of underpass one (first photo on the first post as listed here) and then I started work on an ill-advised poem about whether the word 'underpass' might work as a synonym for...well...a certain part of a woman's body. I didn't finish that poem...it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be humorous or not and I just didn't have time last week to find out. Plus I'm not sure it was working at all so it may never see the light of day. As it were.

Instead I wrote a very short poem about photography and art (and all kinds of other related matters). It's not really connected to any one of the photos we were shown – sorry about that. I used to write lots of short poems (and I wrote about some of them on the blog back in February of this year...posts every day from 2nd to 6th February 2009) but recently I seem to have got a lot more long-winded. I'm not sure that's always a good thing so back in the interests of brevity I present you with the poem below with my very best wishes. Below that I have pasted some photos that seemed appropriate. They were all taken by other members of my family - one Our Girl took on the streets of Bruges in the summer and the other two were taken by Mark in (a) New York and (b) that museum in Barbizon, France that no-one recognised in the summer photo quiz (back here). I hope you enjoy this short trip.




Mixed messages

'Oh, that photograph!'
They said
'It's beautiful
Just like a painting'

'Oh, that painting!'
They exclaimed
'It's marvellous
Just like a photograph'


RF 2009











x

33 comments:

Dominic Rivron said...

Good one! Lends itself to some sort of "concrete" presentation - like presenting the second verse as if its a mirror image of the first? (ie, vertically rotating the last 4 lines 180 degrees).

Rachel Fox said...

Interesting idea. Monday morning though...nothing clever going on here just yet! School holidays too. Maybe I'll just go back to bed...
x

Jim Murdoch said...

Simple and effective. I have to say that I also thought about the presentation as did Dominic, having to the stanzas side by side for example but it works okay as it it.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Jim. I did have a line in between the two verses now and again...bridging them as it were...but I decided simple and left to the reader worked just as well.
As for more adventurous layouts...that is a possibility for this poem's future. I'll keep it in mind.
x

Titus said...

The joy is it's the truth.

I hate myself (art snob) when I wince at my mother, who is very prone to utter, at art galleries and the like, "It's just like a photograph" as her ultimate accolade.

Mastering the short poem no mean feat. Some mastery here.

Titus said...

School holidays? We don't break up till next week!

gleaner said...

I like this one - and there probably is alot written on this subject - sometimes I really hate hearing it said, like Titus, perhaps its snobbery, but I'm not sure.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I like this Rachel - and it is so true - they are altogether different media in one way and yet so alike in another - I think you have captured that very well with the two stanzas.
Shall we be seeing you shortly? Do hope so.

Niamh B said...

I do like this alot Rachel, simply put, and such a funny and true insight. Lovely

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks all. I'm sure I have said both lines from this poem at some time or other. Sometimes I've said the second one when I've been stuck for something to say about a painting but have felt I had to say something! As for the first...people say it all the time and I'm sure I'm included in that.

Talking about art is hard...it can be either too poncey for words or just inane (I wrote a bit about my relationship with visual art a year ago - back here...it's something I'm often thinking about). It's hard to find your way at times as a viewer/looker. It's been on my mind because I'm reading 'Nude' by Nuala NĂ­ ChonchĂșir and there is lots about visual art in there. It's a great book (a collection of short stories - see here).

And yes, Titus, the holidays are upon us. I've got preparations for poetry night on Friday this week and then off to Eng-er-land next.

x

Rachel Fox said...

And not one of you has mentioned my underpass. Fnar fnar.
A big relief really.
x

Titus said...

Ooh yes, the main event! Hectic week all round then.

Rachel Fox said...

As long as the trains get McMillan here on time...I'll be happy. I've been telling people he's the messiah. Either that or a very naughty boy? I forget.
x

the watercats said...

Always wondered about that phenomena... why people want a photographic painting and vice versa.... mind you, I can understand the attraction of the expertise in creating either version... Nice little observation, cheers!

hope said...

Dominic beat me to it...the mirror reference. I like the brevity of it because I too have heard people make those statements...each thinking the other was nuts.

Sorry, have a helluva head cold, so words seem to be underwater in my head today. :)

willow said...

This poem is great. And oh, so true! Haven't we all said this?

Rachel Fox said...

Hello all and thanks for calling in. As you say Willow many of us have uttered these words at some time or other and the poem is more about what we see and what we say more than a criticism of anybody in particular! Another funny one is when we see, for example, a beautiful sky and say 'it's lovely, like a picture'...but of course it's the picture that's like it! We know that but we still say it...or some of us do...

x

Totalfeckineejit said...

This is a very clever poem and as the others have noted they could be reflections of each other.Off at a bit of a tangent I am often wondering (particularly in galleries) if photography is art at all, this reminded me of that particular perennial.Great title too- sums it up.Thanks Rachel!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Ps wonder what happened to the ill advised alternative????

Rachel Fox said...

Oh I love photography...all kinds...the good, the bad and the bonkers. Is it art? Hell, why not?

As for the other poem...I've left it in peace for a while and I'll take another look in a few days and see if it has a future. I have been wanting to write a poem for ages about things (of all kinds)that need new words. It'll come eventually.

x

Jeanne Iris said...

Hey Rachel, So true! The interchange of art.

I love this, and maybe the other will appear somewhere else...as a flash fiction story. ;)

Rachel Fox said...

Or even flasher fiction! I write so little about anything sexual - it is the most English thing about me I think! I have one sex poem (and it is here...at the end of a very long post!).
x

Poetikat said...

Makes me think of how people at wakes say, "He looks so life-like."

I like your approach.

Titus said...

hope has come up with the bow tie goods over at my place!

Love Kat's comment above.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, me too. I've never been to a wake but I saw a lot of them in the Sopranos!
x

Argent said...

Oooh, this is so neatly witty and well-observed. I'm a useless nubbin when it comes to things visual and like art to 'look like' things - unless it's Piet Mondrain.

Rachel Fenton said...

I like it - it is neat.

We're on the last week of school hols...big ones coming up in December though! :)

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks peeps. I could have gone on a bit with this one but I decided to leave it bare...leave room for thought really. What do we think when we look at things? What do we say about what we think? I could go on and on with these questions!
x

Pam said...

It's what a like about the poem Rachel - a short poem, but the questions it poses could go on for quite some time.Amusing and insightful.

Red Bird said...

I'm late here but I liked this- made me laugh... needed that today.
:)
x

Rachel Fox said...

Hi Pam and RB
Maybe I should put this one on a postcard. I have been looking for a new crop and this one would fit well.
x

swiss said...

yes, to the postcard i say, having said everything else yesterday!

Rachel Fox said...

I'm not sure when I will get round to the next set of cards but this one will be on the list of possibles for sure.
x