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Unread 04-25-2022, 03:46 AM
Sarah-Jane Crowson's Avatar
Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 1,467
Default Poetry and Image challenge

To celebrate the art forums, here's a Poetry/Image match challenge.

Have you a poem which yearns for an image to accompany it? If so, then the challenge is to either create an image yourself which works with your poem, or find an image that works with your poem and share it.

This isn't a reverse ekphrastic challenge - it's more about you choosing an image that you think adds to your poem in some way. Think about it in the same way that you'd choose cover art for a chapbook or the image accompanying the work in an online journal!

Once you've chosen an image, please post a link to the image to the thread in the art forum, with your poem.

(Note about copyright - if you take from the web, please credit your source and post a link to the image rather taking a screen grab and uploading it. If you want to upload an image into the thread, then there are some great sites out there like pixabay who have beautiful free images - you just need to credit the image holder if required (it tells you by the picture if this is required or not)
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Unread 04-25-2022, 04:17 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 6,630
Default Tango

OK, Sarah-Jane, here's a poem which I feel requires an image like the one I link to. Folks may remember this. My link is from


Rooftop Tango

I danced a tango once at MIT
on some lost rooftop. This was in my prime
and dawn of ease and possibility.
The patient work Id done was there a time
for it to flower? I could hardly see
how life can turn. My search for the sublime
might be what brought me on to LSD
so open-eyed. How high can one man climb?
Quite high, I guess. Some trigger in my brain
was jostled, and across the ticking years
it came to fire. We all have our careers
and hope that we can keep them. There is pain
when that must end; we touch, we step apart.
We dance the tango if we have that art.
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Unread 04-25-2022, 04:24 AM
Sarah-Jane Crowson's Avatar
Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 1,467

Yay! Thanks for starting this, John.

I remember your poem - it stands alone nicely without an image but I think the image you've chosen brings out the passion and the intensity in the dance on the rooftop - and brings a sense of passionate youth to the poem which, although it's implicit in the 'MIT' and 'lost rooftop', isn't highlighted as much in the poem as your choice of image.

It's interesting, as there are so many ways you could have gone with the poem - I'd have thought of silhouetted illustration - but that wouldn't have heroed the human dance, the push and pulls of passions quite so much.

(I liked and still like the poem very much, btw)

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Unread 04-25-2022, 01:28 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,524

Hi Sarah-Jane, Great project!

I will attempt to corral the two and join them here. (Im oh-so-tempted to pick an image from the great online source Pixabay youve shared here and sneak in an ekphrastic, but of course I wont.)

Ive often thought poetry books/poems have the potential to be multi-dimensional. For me, a completely satisfying unit of art would be a poem, an image and music intertwined with the words being the driving force. (you did something similar here awhile back).

Ill see what I have that might work and be back... Ideally, they would be facing pages.

This kind of project would also be conducive to calligram poetry.

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Unread 04-25-2022, 02:27 PM
Sarah-Jane Crowson's Avatar
Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 1,467

Thank you Jim!

It is so good to have a fellow explorer at the edges of text and image to work with. I think there's more outside spaces that like this kind of work now, too. Spaces like Sugar House (Sugar Suites) are looking for work that blend text and image (they're print and online but use QR codes in the print to showcase the image/text - very cool way of blending the two).

I love the idea of calligram poetry (I am not great at making calligram poetry - I don't think that I have the right kind of mind for it - but I love reading/engaging with it)

I'm now very excited to find out what you come up with!

(maybe we can do a cross-forum ekphrastic challenge later or some kind of bouncing of words and text, as that is exciting too)
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Unread 04-25-2022, 02:30 PM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 6,124

Based on what we did on D&A perhaps?
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Unread 04-30-2022, 05:59 PM
Jason Ringler Jason Ringler is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States of America
Posts: 193

Hi Sarah, and everyone,

Here's a poem I worked on for a while. The thought of what it's like being turned to stone came to me one day but I turned it into a stove instead. So i found an image close to the type of stove I pictured. Hopefully one of the links works.

Turned to stove

Turned to stove instead of stone,
older model made of bone,
shelf and pipe over throne,
peach and tan into golden tone.

Burning lit the molten shop,
the piney spices measure pot.
Wreath of fire crowning top,
scorching iron town it's got.

Conscious kettle gleaming round,
stirring strikes its bony sound.
Softest handles mittens found,
steam uplifted, aroma drowned.

Steep uncovered the fitting dome,
boiling contents whistling own,
eyes and ears of the grown
bringing together people home.
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