For the past few weeks I have been drifting, floating above, below, around creativity. I took to watching Tate Modern YouTube videos on various artists working now. A couple of years back I watched ‘Gerhard Richter Painting’ and tonight I discovered it on Netflix, so will watch it again.
Why am I so interested in art?
A friend, as I told him this, asked if I was going to start painting. I said, “No” ….”No… painting is not in me”… “Even my stick figures look bad”. “But,” I said, “given this modern day, maybe my bad stick figures would sell for thousands”. I suggested my friend write poems (he has no interest) and I would draw stick figures, put them together and we could become rich, famous New York artists.
I usually, or rather often… no usually… am inspired by photographs or artwork to write poems. One of my first was a poem I wrote after seeing a photo of Iznik tile. The finished poem had the words under a copy of the tile. I couldn’t publish it or use it other than privately because I probably violated some copyright or other.
Now, I use a photographer friend’s photos to inspire me, or my own poor, iPhone pics …. or if I can, paintings, drawings, so I don’t have to worry about copyright.
Last night, it was a chilly but clear, cloudless night. I was walking my dog along the brow of Hamilton Mountain. I ignored the spectacular view of the city and bay beyond (and it is spectacular; this is not the usual overuse of a descriptor). I turned up a side street, intending to take no pics as I don’t like overhead wires in the frame. But I stopped, my back to the mountain brow, turned and snapped a picture, wires, trees, fence on the edge, a car coming down the road, with the thick line of red sunset below a dark blue sky beyond all this.
After the walk I decided to upload it to FaceBook. Facebook asks you to say something… and the words, ‘Sunset behind me’ popped into my head. I knew I had the first line of a poem.
Tonight, I took a long break from marking final exams and worked to finish the words and assemble them with the photo. With me the first two, three, four lines come quickly, often in a few seconds or at most two or three minutes. But those last lines! I struggled and am still not happy. but here it is anyway.
Now that I look at it again, I know I must change the end.
The thought occurred to me that perhaps I should write only three or four line poems?
Here is the revision, which I like much better. Maybe some tweaking……