How many words are worth a picture?

Daughter #2 is taking a poetry writing class this semester. Her first assignment was to write a poem following the form of Michael  David Murphy’s Unphotographable . Click to his blog’s about page, or visit this link to read how this project got started. I’m not a photographer, just never a hobby that appealed to me and, quite frankly, I am easily overwhelmed thinking about how to organize/save/share photos. In fact, I think that is one of the underlying reasons for this blog – to help me keep a record of my life with words to in some way make up for the lack of a record of my life in pictures.

I’m fascinated to read how a photographer puts unphotographed scenes into words. I think it’s a great way to stretch your mind; to not only observe something, but to put that observation into words. And not rambly run on sentences of words (guilty), but into a minimum number of words to clearly, completely, and accurately depict a scene. Not to worry, I’m not going to practice this technique here in the blog.

In case you’re too lazy to click through to his blog yourself, here’s a sample:

This is a picture I did not take of a man getting out of his car and sprinting into a store, leaving his car idling out front with a large trophy in the passenger seat, the trophy topped with a small gold runner, mid-stride.

and

This is a picture I did not take of a uniformed police officer sleeping in his squad car with its siren lights flashing, the cop’s cruiser parked in the middle of an overpass that crosses a major metropolitan freeway, beneath which President Barack Obama’s motorcade was scheduled to pass — the motorcade rolling from Air Force One into the city for Obama’s scheduled speech at a convention of injured war veterans, while the cop sat in his air-conditioned squad car in the middle of overpass traffic, overseeing the public’s safety and the safety of the American President, all while sleeping

Daughter #2’s first attempt wasn’t bad either. I have a couple of scenes in my head, times I actually remember thinking to myself, “If I were a photographer, I would wish I had a camera right now.” Well, the whole thought of yet another very cool form of poetry (fyi – Austin Kleon’s February horoscopes have been posted) leave me feeling that my haikubes are really lame. So I’m going to retire my haikube posting for a bit, but I’ll leave you with these final 5-7-5 words expressing “a desire for my work life.”

wise up dynamic:
silly clamor must balance
a lofty fortune

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