Those of you in Ms. Karetnick’s Creative writing class will love this New York Times site. The NY Times editors pair poetry with New York Times content. The editors pair this poem with this photo illustration from a recent New York Times story on what makes people happy. READ IT!
It’s a natural. In a future class you will be asked to illustrate a New York Times story of your choice. Words and images can lend so much to each other. The photographer Walker Evans once collaborated with the poet Hart Crane to create an ode to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Poetry, a language like photography, engages parts of the brain that deal with the world of abstraction and emotive. You’ve heard the word ” muse” right? Well musing is often what you do while reading or writing poetry. It’s also something you do when taking some types of photographs. It’s an intuitive process. Your unconscious is at work, even while you don’t know it. It’s making links and associations between words you just read that may bring up images later. It’s working in the background.
Then suddenly out of the blue, when you’re taking pictures, a line from poetry may pop up out of the blue and you decide to photograph that subject in a completely different manner. I know, when I am am in need of some metaphorical inspiration I turn to Wallace Stephens or Walt Whitman. But I have to be a still place of mind to heed my inner “muse” to let the poet’s words work their magic .
So check this site out. And in our classroom try to thumb through some of my personal photo books. Check out the classroom copy of book Visual Poetry and try to think of ways you can visual some of your creative writing assignments in your photo class. We will be doing a class activity related to this, down the line.
In our weekly “Poetry Pairing” series we collaborate with the Poetry Foundation to feature a work from its American Life in Poetry project alongside content from The Times that somehow echoes, extends or challenges the poem’s themes. Each poem is introduced briefly by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.