Let the picture speak to you

Posted by Raj Arumugam on March 02, 2012

Let the picture speak to you
boy viewing Mt Fiji

Can a picture or a painting speak to you? Can that dialogue between you and the painting become a poem?

Yes, it can. Here are the steps you might use: 1. Look at a picture. 2.This is like meditation on a subject - just look, and listen. 3. Wait for the silence. 4. Do not struggle to get an idea. Let the picture and the depths of your mind do the work. 5. The idea arrives - write it down! You've got a poem.

Here's an example of a poem I wrote using the above method. I gazed at "Boy looking at Mt Fuji" by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and allowed the image to speak to me. And below is the poem that was the result of this process.


boy talking to Fuji-san

I'm bored and life's hard: 
let me run away
The master makes me work all day
while his sons go to school
and learn writing and numbers; 
and his daughters put on pretty dresses
and they play with dolls and flowers -
while all day I wash their clothes
and sweep the courtyard
and collect herbs for the Lady of the House
O Fuji-san -
you have great power
and you watch over all
so let me run away
And I shall run to Edo
And I'll work there 
at the tea-houses
and I'll see fine gentlemen
and I'll see pretty ladies
and I'll work and earn and save
And one day I'll be a gentleman myself
So, O Fuji-san
let me run away

Clear my way
and make it safe
and I shall go to Edo
and I'll be rich one day
and I'll come back here to you Fuji-san
and I'll bring you offerings of dumplings and flowers
So help me, O mighty Fuji-san
Let me run away

Category: Poetry

Tags: poetry, creative writing


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