Hello Toads! Margaret here, back from my Washington D.C. trip (what an amazing city!) and posting this a tad late today.
As Mary Ann Potter of "From the Starcatcher" is an artist as well as a poet (she designed and created the above collage) I selected her with a poetry challenge I entitled "Visual Pathways" inspired from an art book I often reference for drawing. I asked her to select one (or mix them up a bit) and apply it to writing poetry instead of drawing:
1) How can we view things differently? View things from a mirror, turn our head upside down, look through colored lenses, cross you eyes, look through a hole in a piece of paper, twirl...
2) When drawing an object, learn all you can about it. Research its form, history, constituents, then approach it with knowledge to guide you. We draw the tree from the ground up, but if we understand the hidden part, the root system, our tree will be more convincing in the way we feel it rising up from the ground. The tree does not begin at the earth line. Nothing begins where it seems, everything grows out of something that supports it.
3) Be still within movement, move within stillness.
The following is Mary Ann Potter's very creative response (inspiration came from her collage she designed and the following YouTube video). I love, love antique and old treasures from the past, so this is a real treat for me. I hope it is for you as well!
Thank you, Mary Ann.
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This intriguing little scene, the oldest surviving film, was filmed on October 14, 1888; it shows Adolphe LePrince, the son of the cinematographer, walking around the garden with Sarah, Joseph, and Harriet Hartley at their home in Oakwood Grange, Roundhay, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, UK. They don't do much here. We see them laugh, walk, turn, and we wonder what LePrince was thinking. Sarah walks backward, and Joseph's coat flies out as he turns. The movie was made at 12 frames per second and lasts just 2.11 seconds in its finished form. It has surprisingly lasted all these years and has ever been re-mastered. (Thanks, Widipedia. I never knew about this before.)
It inspired this poem, a different way of looking at film after some research, a little visual pathways to a brief epiphany.
Roundhay Garden: An Adventure in Celluloid
What little she knew of the world
came from stories;
treasured collections on library shelves,
long whispered mysteries,
mother's advice -
(a lady always...
a lady never...)
Don't do that, daughter.
It's simply not nice."
Even spinsters have hearts.
The auteur is not gentle.
He spins us in circles,
life caught in sprockets.
"You, in the white dress,
now turn and twirl."
Oh, if he sees I'm
a beautiful girl...
(a lady might...
a lady will...)
Squeezing out truth makes us smaller,
I'm told. We wonder:
What makes a chain tighter,
locks or memories grown cold?
by Mary Ann Potter