|when I think of the desert,
this experience comes to mind!
(my sons, circa 2004)
Don't miss my post earlier this week at Smack Dab in the Middle where I catalog my Top 10 Highlights of 2023. So much goodness!
Also, Charles Water and I issued an invitation to poets to fill out this Getting to Know You questionnaire, which will help us better match poets to projects as we create new anthologies. So many have responded...thank you! We're so grateful to be part of such a joyful community.
This week I also sent out my latest Adventures in Ink e-newsletter. Click here to access the "'Tis the Season for Peace" issue. (If you're not yet a subscriber, you can join the fun by clicking here.)
Today's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem features butterflies! Who doesn't love butterflies? As a Master Gardener and Alabama Master Naturalist in training, I am committed to providing safe havens for these lovelies by planting pollinator plants...which are beautiful in and of themselves, but when you think about all the GOOD they can do, it's kind of stunning.
A few process-y things about writing this poem:
1. The title came first! (I do love a great metaphor.)
2. The butterflies depicted in the art are not colored like painted lady butterflies. But the yellow and orange background brought them to mind, so... (Just a reminder that you CAN use your imagination when writing ekphrastic poems. It needn't be a literal recreation of the art piece...and I would argue it shouldn't be.)
3. I wanted a lot of space and movement in these lines to mimic the butterflies' action among the goldenrod (in my imagination/memory).
4. For the same reason, I wanted to use as little punctuation as possible.
5. A Google search of "words to describe fireworks" helped me replace first-drafty words with more vivid ones!
6. I'm still on the fence about whether I need to include "of light" after "dazzle."
This has happened so many times this year... I talked about it in this post...and in the earlier poem, I chose to cut "of light." Here it feels more necessary. (?)
Thanks so much for reading.
two painted ladies
are late summer
as they sip,
a living dazzle of light
happy to set
- Irene Latham