Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Photography Inspiration: Found Book Poetry

April is National Poetry Month, and schools around the country participate in a wide variety of events and activities to encourage poetry reading, writing, and enjoyment. You may not have considered that you can use your camera to ‘write’ your own poetry, but you can.

Book Spine Poetry

A world of wonders
A swiftly tilting planet.
Every living thing,
Joyful noise.
Absolutely normal chaos:
You come, too.

Found book poetry or book spine poems are very simple – all you need is your camera and your bookshelf. I came across this idea a few years back from a reading blog started by two teachers (original post here).

You can be as intentional or unintentional as you like. I often find myself trying to tell some sort of story or capture a moment. Some book titles just call out to be included, while pairing and combining others can spur your imagination.

Book Spine Poetry

The whales
Black and white
Learning to swim in Swaziland
To see the moon
Many waters.

Book Spine Poetry

What the moon saw:
The incredible journey
The doll people
Over Sea, Under Stone,
Small Steps …
Around the world in eighty days –
Snow Treasure!

While the previous examples tended towards the humorous, my personal favorite of my found book poems was one that I decided to do as more of an autobiography. I gathered together a collection of travel guides and interspersed them with books that represented my hobbies, interests, and occupation.  This was the final poem.

Found Book Poetry | Boost Your Photography

How to be an explorer of the world:
Little house in Brookfield,
Unofficial guide to life at Harvard,
Ghosts of Vesuvius,
Wisconsin's weather and climate.
The American Southwest,
New Zealand,
Teach like a champion.
Complete National Parks,
Digital landscape photography,
Live from Jordan.

Found book poetry is an easy go-to idea when you are feeling stuck in your photography and want to try something a little different.

If you create your own found book poems, please post a link in the comments so that others can read and enjoy them too!

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