Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Words Count With Mama Zen



A couple of days ago, I followed a Google Doodle and discovered the scientific illustrations of Maria Sibylla Merian.  I immediately decided that they were perfect for The Garden.

An artist and a naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian traveled to Suriname in South America in 1699.  The trip was sponsored by the city of Amsterdam.  Remarkably for the time, Maria traveled with her young daughter, but with no male companion (gasp!).  In 1705, she published a book about the insect life of Suriname, Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium.  Maria Sibylla Merian was one of the first naturalists to draw insects from direct study.

Here is some of Maria's work (not all are from Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium).










See anything that inspires you?  Give your muse full reign.  Well, 60 words worth of full reign.  Have fun!

All images are public domain.  Information cheerfully stolen from The Book of All Knowledge (Wikipedia).

18 comments:

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

Can only imagine the time of wonderment spent observing. She became that which she observed.

Gracias for sharing

Kerry O'Connor said...

She had the ability to zoom in on the smallest creatures with an artist's eye - what an excellent exercise for a poet.

Ella said...

I love the detail in her art! Thank you Mama Zen for sharing her with us!
Cheers 60-woo hoo! ;D

Marian said...

how can i be first? c'mon people, we got BUGS today. :)

Kay L. Davies said...

Such a great prompt. A woman ahead of her time, that naturalist from Amsterdam. I had a lot of fun with a couple of the paintings. I love the "wasserhyazinthe" and am so glad its name came up when I slid the picture onto my desktop.
K

Susan said...

Wow. I have not written yet, but reading about this woman and Suriname has made e want to travel there. And she was a bug bug! Thanks for bringing her to my attention.

hedgewitch said...

Great challenge, MZ. Very cool historical drawings. If I'd seen this before I posted my poem for the day, which actually has some insects in it, I would have tried to come in under the word limit, but as it is, I think it's probably more like 600. ;_) Will see if anything bubbles up for a late entry.

Ellecee said...

What an interesting lady, and I love her art work. So whimsical and detailed. Thank you for sharing her with us.

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Yo, Mama,

GREAT prompt. I am fascinated with intricate illustrations, and I was hard pressed to pick one... until I saw the croc and snake. Think of war... Thanks again for letting me hang in the Garden for NaPoWriMo. This community is so supportive!

Peace, Amy

Emma Major said...

mama Zen, I love you and your prompt, it's inspired one of those poems that comes from somewhere other thanmy normal creative place. of course Ihad problems with length but there's ashortened version for you as well :)

Lolamouse said...

Please, m'am, may I have 16 words more? (I bought your book-yes, I'm sucking up!)

Emma Major said...

I've been inspired byanother of the images,in acompletely different way, and have linked it up as well. I hope this is ok, if not then please feel free to remove thesecond one.

Margaret said...

The last reminds me of a Wisteria bloom, so I went with it. I have NO idea what it is and I hope it is OK.

Kim Nelson said...

I have ever been enamored with Merian's illustrations. This is a treat!

Fireblossom said...

MZ just wants to terrify me with insects and crawlies! ;-)

Mama Zen said...

Thanks so much for writing, guys! I'll be around as soon as I can. I had to be seen by my dentist TWICE today, so I'm not at my shiniest.

Kim Nelson said...

I wrote another for you and Izy, MZ!

Susie Clevenger said...

What a wonderful woman to learn about. Thank you Mama Zen for introducing us to her. I am still playing poetry catch up. I am almost there!!