Friday, September 27, 2013

Artistic Interpretations - It's all about Place

English Great Hall of the Late Tudor Period
I visited the Art Institute of Chicago this past summer and enjoyed the 69 miniatures of both European and American interiors.  The scales are one inch to one foot which became a standard in the miniature industry.  The miniatures are crafted from the same type of wood used for the original pieces of furniture, and the grain of the wood had to fit the small scale of objects.  I believe if you click on each image, it will enlarge.

I apologize for so few photos - many I took I couldn't use due to darkness and reflections.   HERE is a link to videos and further photos of this exhibition.   HERE is a link to all 69 rooms.  Feel free to use ANY of the images, not just the ones I posted.  (I am not sure about the user "rights" so you might have to link to the images offered on the other website - I'll let you be the judge of that, though).

English Cottage Kitchen (sitting area) of the Queen Anne Period
I want you to play with and consider poems about "place".  Setting.  Mood.  Focus on descriptive technique - consider whether you feel like being lead to write about what is outside the room or in (or both).  Is it about something that happened within this room or something that is about to happen?  Is it a memory, an emotion?  Pay attention to color, feel, sounds, mood, even taste of a room.   Have fun with this... write fiction, or non-fiction - study the period, the country, the history.  Is it first person, or is it perhaps from a dog's perspective, or maybe a certain armchair or painting? 

I have given a few examples of how you can play with this and please feel free to write in any style, even grab an older poem you have written and add place to it.  The examples here are just ideas in which you may draw inspiration or not.  

I do prefer, however, that all poems for this challenge relate in some way to one of the 69 rooms.  I believe it's a worthwhile exercise to step out of our world and research history a bit BUT, if you are a poet that must write from personal experience or feels no creative juices from these miniature rooms, submit a NEW poem featuring "place".   (I added this last concession at noon Friday...)  

English Drawing Room of the Georgian Period
I wrote "This Big Room" - in response to a challenge highlighting an Andrew Wyeth painting as the inspiration.

Below is a poem by poet Richard Blanco.   I was introduced to him through a blog I enjoy "Recollections of a Vagabonde":

El Florida Room (excerpt)
by Richard Blanco

(1st stanza)
Not a study or a den, but El Florida
as my mother called it, a pretty name
for the room with the prettiest view
of the lipstick-red hibiscus puckered up
against the windows, the tepid breeze 
laden with the brown-sugar scent
of loquats drifting in from the yard.


(3rd stanza)
Not a sitting room, but El Florida where
I sat alone for hours with butterflies
frozen on the polyester curtains
and faces of Lladro figurines:  sad angels,
clowns, and princesses with eyes glazed
blue and gray, gazing from behind
the glass doors of the wall cabinet.

I highly encourage you to read the entire poem HERE.  

French Dining Room of the Louis XIV Period
Below is another place poem which ponders a personal thought while sitting in and describing a little park.

The Secret of Light (excerpt)
by James Wright

I am sitting contented and alone in a little park near the Palazzo Scaligere in Verona, glimpsing the mists of early autumn as they shift and fade among the pines and city battlements on the hills above the river Adige.

The river has recovered from this morning's rainfall.  (for the entire poem, click HERE)

French Provincial Bedroom of the Louis XV Period
(18th Century)

Another poem takes a location and again, ponders feelings:

by Kathryn Stripling Byer

Not buried
but piece by piece carried
up narrow stairs
into the rafters,

her leavings 
have summered through
forty-five seasons 
of Bible-Belt heat (to read entire poem, click HERE)

French Bathroom & Boudoir of the Revolutionary Period
As usual, if you have a busy day or weekend, please consider turning in late or posting on Open Link Monday - but also remember to post here as well.  Visit others and I believe most will repay the visit.  Have fun and please link your specific poem to the Linky below.  I look forward to your artistic interpretations.

New Mexico Dining Room


Kerry O'Connor said...

Thank you for sharing both your photos and these wonderful examples of poems firmly grounded in "place". It is so important for writers to create a sense of authentic setting and your prompt provides a valuable exercise.

L. Edgar Otto said...

I love the miniatures photos and the poems and the concept... but I find it beyond my abilities to relate something for the bar of its quality- who knows, maybe some idea might come up... I like the New Mexico one best. hmmmmm

L. Edgar Otto said...

OK I offer this, a stretch perhaps. Navajo Rug and Table Made from the Cottonwood Tree.. The posting before it will be for Open Monday.

hedgewitch said...

I so envy you that visit to my favorite childhood haunt, Margaret. It's unlikely I'll ever get back there, so appreciate this share all the more. I will have to ponder the amazing pictures--hard to believe they are not real, full-size rooms. Thanks for the challenge.

Ella said...

Hi Margaret!
This is magical~ I grew up where we use to visit tiny homes. I remember a whole park area filled with them.
I love this challenge! ;D Thank you~

Kathryn Dyche said...

The photos of the miniature rooms remind me of home (the UK). Waiting for the creative juices to kick in.

Marian said...

what a lovely prompt, Margaret! love it. i'm certain i can't give it appropriate attention in the next day or so, but will hopefully be able to sometime later this weekend. i want to go there!

Margaret said...

We have to remember we can approach these challenges as exercises as well. I know this is alot to be presented with for a day's challenge. Remember, I'd rather have late than not at all.

Margaret said...

And if you really can't connect with ant of the 69 rooms, I'd rather have you chose your own place. I thought it would be fun to mahe everyone study the history of each period or really ponder an unusual setting, but that does take a bit of time.

Marian said...

i said i couldn't but then i wrote something anyway. i should just shut up. thanks, this is very lovely, Margaret. :)

Wendy Annabeth said...

LOVE these pics & your blog! I'm a new GFC follower :)

Susan said...

I went to the Institute when in Chicago for an academic conference (ATHE) back in the last century, and my wallet was stolen, pick-pocketed right out of my handbag. EEk. It's good to revisit in this manner. Thanks for being the first readers of my hybrid offering.

L. Edgar Otto said...

I posted another poem on this issue of place thinking about the general overview of the prompt. If I have not offended anyone of the caliber here with crude humor. I am surprised I got such response in comments of such a find depth and kind analysis. (I really do not look for them with my slow connections. Apple Chill, the post for next monday before these two by this amazing and challenging prompt. In the room of our minds we also nest in philosophy.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Is it just me of has Mr Linky multiplied?

Kerry O'Connor said...


Peggy said...

Fun prompt Margaret! I have seen some other miniature rooms and they are always so amazing. I recall a particularly magical one at Legoland in Denmark of all places. I had fun with your rooms. Thanks for always coming up with such interesting things.

Susan said...

. . . . and then there were three! Yes, Kerry, our cup runneth over.

Margaret said...

Wow. I'm not home but when I get home I will try and fix the multiple links. Unless someone fixes it before me.

Margaret said...

FIXED the "hot mess" of Mister Linky.. ha . Wonder what happened.

hedgewitch said...

I think blogger is having a midlife crisis--lots of commenting problems today around the net, and while I'm not seeing multiple links here at toads, everything that used to be on the sidebar now seems to be under the post. (!) Nonetheless, there is still poetry. ;_)

hedgewitch said...

PS Kerry--keep forgetting to mention I love your new avatar.

Margaret said...

Yes! Where is our SIDEBAR! Crazy!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I hadn't noticed the sidebar issue! I'll check it out.. Seems some kind of gremlins have crept in. Hedge, it's seldom I get dressed up for a party, but it was my youngest's "prom" recently and since I'm a teacher I get to attend. At least there was one useful pic in the batch ;-)

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have checked 'behind the scenes' and the layout of RT remains unchanged, with both sidebars in place. I have no idea why it is not showing up like that on the Home page. Perhaps it is a blogger problem, as Hedge suggests, but if it does not rectify itself, I will reset the layout from scratch tomorrow or Monday to see if that makes a difference. Perhaps this is a sign that we're overdue a change of scenery.

Marian said...

blogger is a total pain in the ass.

kerry, i also love your new photo!! LOVE IT. love!

Susie Clevenger said...

What an amazing thing to think all that grandeur is in tiny rooms. What lovely photos Margaret.

Ella said...

I loved this challenge, but found it hard! I do want to try again~
Thank you Margaret-I have always loved tiny treasures. These are quite a remarkable art form! :D

Marian said...

Margaret, I know someone who works in a big job at the Art Institute of Chicago. Are you interested in me sharing a link with him to see what they think of our interpretations? Up to you but let me know & easily done. :)

Hannah said...

What a wonder-FULL post this is! Thank you so much for all the inspiration here and the sharing of your images! :)

Outlawyer said...

Margaret--I don't know if I'll have time to do this one, but I so enjoyed your post--what wonderful images and the poems you chose were really terrific. Thank you so much for taking what looks like a lot of time over this. I really enjoyed it. K. (Karin at Manicddaily--I'm posting on my iPad so will probably be outlawyer.)

Margaret said...

Marian... sure. It is a collective effort, not just me, that's for sure! I thank everyone and I totally realize the time and effort to write poems doesn't always cooperate with BUSY lives. I am thrilled if you read it and can apply it to another poem, at another time - that is, the examples of "place" poems given here. It is all all about enjoyment and learning! :)

Lolamouse said...

Better late than never!

Jennifer Wagner said...

I'm late too!