Writing Poetry from Pictures
To ground the writing of poetry in observation, and to demonstrate how imagination can arise from the simple art of looking try bringing copies of a picture, or a series of pictures to class and pass them out to students. The pictures need to be complex enough to stimulate observation and be open to various interpretation. Surrealist painting work well. Ask students to look closely at the picture and ‘walk around inside’ for a while.
To provide a viewing lens, you could ask students to:
- Pretend to be something in the picture
- Walk into the picture and see what happens
- Use comparisons to connect elements of the picture with other things
- Use a poetic form you know already as a launching pad for poetry based on the scene in the picture.
I'm sure you get the picture. If your student poets get the picture, hopefully the words will flow.