My friend, Rebecca Lily, maintains a beautiful journal entitled, Poems Without Words. The title of her journal was inspired by a quote. “A picture is a poem without words” —Horace.
I’ve long held the connection between photographs and poems in my heart. In both photography and poetry the reader must be invested in the process. There is nothing passive about reading a poem or a picture. The reader needs to dig in the dirt to find meaning and understanding. Pictures and poems, at their very best, evoke emotion. They bring us to our knees, in one way or another.
Pictures and poems are places of exploration.
“When I’m reading other writer’s work in progress, I’m looking for honesty and vulnerability, which often also means some ugliness. I think there’s a temptation in first drafts to explain what we know and how we're right. But when a poem can chip away at its own certainty and arrive at a place of exploration, I am hooked. The piece doesn’t need polish or intricate metaphors. It just needs genuine curiosity.” —Amber Edmondson
These words from Amber Edmondson, Teaching Assistant/Poet/Bookbinder for Poetry Forge, have meaning for me as a photographer, as well. I want to make photographs that chip away at my certainty. The pictures that affect me the most are seldom those with polished perfection, but rather those that make me feel and think deeply.
I want to give myself room to create this kind of art.