Broadsided DIY 101
Below are two writing exercises that encourage poets to respond to and interact with visual art.
Write a Photographic Poem
Here, you'll be writing a poem that is—in whatever way you deem appropriate and interesting—"photographic." This might be a poem about a photograph or a poem imagining a person or scene or event from a photographic perspective (realist? limited? static? carefully framed? lit in a certain way? historic? etc. etc.)
Of course you should consider (and, if you want, overtly explore) what is shown/known within this photograph or photographic perspective and what narratives and information lie outside it.
In addition, please
1) mention a particular time of day or year
Write a Media/Techniques Poem
This exercise asks you to write a poem that responds either to a famous work of visual art or, if you want a break from visual art, to a famous poem. You'll therefore be doing a sort of "iconic revision"—taking this familiar piece and revising it.
1) This famous work should be one that reflects something about how you see the world or what you prioritize (as Brueghel's peasant scenes reflected Williams' interest in the objects of the world, and the local and common).
2) Particularly, I want you to think about how you can draw upon and suggest the medium the work is originally in (clay, brass, collaged paper, watercolor, oil paint, Latinate words, American vernacular, a certain rhyme scheme, etc. etc.)
3) and how you can—as William Carlos Williams would say—"lift" the original piece in your imagination so that you're not merely reconstructing it, but are adding layers of meaning. I think Plath's recontextualizing of the Brueghel scene in "Two Views of a Cadaver Room" is a great example of this.
4) In honor of Williams (and Anne Carson), your poem should also, implicitly or explicitly, say something about art and/or the composition process.
5) You should also do a bit of research about the original work, and incorporate one or more details from this research.
6) Oh, and in your 7th line, you should use a word that has something (oblique or direct) to do with birds.