NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 22

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It is the final week! You made it… come and write some more!

logo-napowrimo As always for the full post, click the day.

Day Twenty-Two

Today’s featured participant is What Rhymes With Stanza?, where the surrealist prompt for Day 21 led to a strange tale in the key of C Sharp Major.

Our video resource for the day is this short film that features the poet and artist Kate Greenstreet reading an autobiographical piece, juxtaposed with images of Greenstreet at work on both her art and her poetry, which intermix with one another, as you’ll see.

As our film for the day shows, art and poetry can richly affect one another. Frank O’Hara’s poem, “Why I am Not a Painter,” speaks to this mutual engagement, as do explicitly ekphrastic poems (i.e., poems that are about a specific work of art), like Thom Gunn’s “In Santa Maria del Popolo.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that engages with another art form – it might be about a friend of yours who paints or sculpts, your high school struggles with learning to play the French horn, or a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced – anything is in bounds here, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.

Happy writing!

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NaPo Process Notes
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Photo by Viktoria Alipatova on Pexels.com

I started by reading Jackals in the Key of C-Sharp Major by Maggie C. Love the title! I liked the surrealism she captured.

Then I watched the short film. ACT and read “Why I am Not a Painter” by Frank O’Hara and “In Santa Maria del Popolo” by Thom Gunn.
I like that today’s challenge is to write a poem that engages with another art form, especially as I wrote an ekphrastic poem only yesterday. With this in mind I am stretching the artistic wings of finding more than an artwork to write from today.
On Writing
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Searching for art…

a list brings up Aboriginal Art (alphabetically). I looked at Aboriginal Rock Artsome of which are believed to date back to the early phase of the Upper Paleolithic (c.30,000 BCE)!

Last week 4 of my NaPo poems were Australia-centric, so I fancied a change.

From possibly the oldest sort of art, I looked at face painting, not just tribal, but performance artists & photography, I ended up looking at body painting. Back in my university days I was involved in a post-grad project which involved body painting. I haven’t thought about it since (decades), I felt this was the perfect place to start today and something a little usual.

Body painting research led me to the beautiful work of German artist Gesine Marwedel. She specializes in creating beautiful and elegant body paintings that transforms people into plants, animals, or even abstract works of art.

I chose her image of a Seahorse and underwent some research, certain facts I already knew, such as the male gives birth (only species in the world where this is the case), that they mate for life, that they can change colour… but I learnt a lot this morning and even watched the birthing of 2000 fry. WOW!

I limited my research to National Geographic and the Seahorse Trust (who have a visually stunning website), I had to limit myself or I would have been plugged into the PC staring at Seahorses all day! I think, post-NaPo there will be more poems which come from today’s fact harvesting. Fascinating.

My challenge was to balance the art back in. Inspired by today’s video I wanted the artist to feature in my poem as well as the pregnant model and an actual Seahorse. Tall order!

My 10 stanza poem is called Seahorse and focuses on the actual creature, the model and the artist.

 

The artist brushes for hours,
believes in the therapeutic qualities
of body painting,
the act of taking the human
out from themselves.

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