Thursday, August 14, 2014

Skyline Serenity

Watching the glow of dusk moving over Manhattan's skyline elicits a range of emotions in the 9/11 post-years. As picturesque as an artist's rendering, the city spins a story of power, might, and perseverance. On this clear summer night there is a magical quality settling over New York City that inspires a writer to express her thoughts in poetic fashion. Listening intently to the sounds, observing the sights, and feeling the night's transformation from hurried hoofbeats to quietude, settles the hurt once felt in 2001. Broken into fine dust it spreads evenly over Ground Zero. Hope emerges from the bright lights of bridges, skyscrapers, and reflecting pools of water while stillness blankets the Manhattan skyline with a gentle softness. Quiet peace hovers over avenues and streets. A feeling of serenity is elicited. Travelers and city goers revel as words spin to form independent thoughts. 

Capturing a single scene in a photograph and blending it with expressive words is a collaboration of the heart and the mind. Combining two art forms, photography and poetry, opens channels of creativity releasing emotions and feelings. The sensations evoked are transferred from writer to readers and viewers. You can become immersed in this process when the REFLECT WITH ME: Summer Serenity Gallery is unveiled at the end of August. The scene below is one of many settings showcased in the virtual gallery. 

How to appreciate the fusion of a poetic expression with a striking image in the upcoming Summer Serenity Gallery:

  1. Engage in a close read of the photograph. 
  2. Observe the setting and details.
  3. Reflect upon the literal.
  4. Focus on the underlying reason why the picture was taken. 
  5. View the photo through a different lens enjoying the scene or making connections. 
  6. Read the poem focusing on how the words merge with the photo. 
  7. Allow for a certain emotion to surface during the process. 
  8. Question: What resonates in the pairing? Does the pairing of the poetic expression with the picture of a natural surrounding or man-made structure transport you to a place of stillness, even if it is for a brief time? 

Why should we engage in a viewing of a virtual gallery of artistic expressions? 
  • The Poetry Foundation believes that poetry should have a "vigorous presence in our culture."
  • Marc Polonsky who wrote The Poetry Reader's Toolkit says, "Poetry is an imagination machine. Good poetry, given patience, lights up your imagination in some way. It surprises you, tickles you, gives you a nudge, or even awes you. It might reveal a new perspective, dazzle your mind's eye, broaden your inner vision." 
  • Finally, watch the late Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society deliver his thoughts on Why do we read and write poetry? 
I hope you enjoy this short poem that I wrote while in New York City two weeks ago. 


Manhattan Skyline
You can hear the poem read aloud at Audioboo.



This week's Poetry Friday is being hosted by my juicy little universe.
Please stop by to read other submissions by a variety of writers.