Friday, February 20, 2015

That Moment Before Snapping a Photograph


Turkey Tree
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Yesterday I was lucky enough to see nine turkeys in that small empty tree you see above...not the evergreen, but the deciduous tree in front.  I was driving my car along, and when I looked out the window, I could not believe my eyes.  The tree looked to be covered in enormous and strange ornaments.  But they really were turkeys!  This picture is the moment after they all flew away.  Can you still hear their wings flapping?

Today's poem is a free verse poem, no rhyme or regular meter at all.  But I still read it aloud many times to be sure that the rhythms - while not regular - sang each into the next.  When you write a free verse poem, many of the decisions you will make are decisions about line breaks.  Where exactly would you like the reader to pause, even for just a wee bit?  Put your line breaks there.

It is interesting to write from photographs, and if you visit here regularly, you know that I do this often.  Usually, though, I write about the moment in the photograph or something from the photograph that anyone could see.  Today, though, my focus is on a different moment.  You might try this too. Find a photograph or think of one and write about the moment before or the moment after the picture was taken.  The piece you write could be true or it could come from your own wild imagination.  You might write a poem, but you could also write a story, or anything else.  The ways we best find ideas will work for us across all types of writing.

Mary Lee Hahn is the winner of last week's giveaway of LEND A HAND written by John Frank and illustrated by London Ladd.  Mary Lee, please just send me an e-mail and let me know if you would like the book sent to you or to a friend!

If you have not yet visited Olga McLaren's grandmother journals over at my blog Sharing Our Notebooks, I welcome you to do so.  She has written an inspiring post, and there is a giveaway as well.

Linda Baie is hosting this Poetry Friday Palooza over at TeacherDance.  Please head on over there to enjoy the poems, the festivities, and the friendship!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

15 comments:

Karin Fisher-Golton said...

That poem tickles my brain--funny and interesting. I love "wild imagination," and the word "turkey" is just full of fun.

Your poem is definitely an example of a poem creating a stronger image than a camera.

Ruth said...

I love this one. "The moment before the photo" is usually what I wanted to take a picture of. I just can't seem to get there fast enough. A poem is the perfect solution!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Oh, what a moment--& what a good idea to commemorate it in a poem! I miss a lot of shots, & I usually say something like "Oh, shoot!" & let the moment pass. Next time, I'll try to remember to write!

Sheila said...

I love the story behind this photo! It reminds me of a time when I tried to photograph our daughter running in a track meet at college-when I looked at the photos I took, all I had was the empty track as they ran so fast;)

Doraine Bennett said...

Such fun. The moment caught, despite the missed shot.

Margaret Simon said...

Your poem is full of the sound of wings. I saw an eagle fly over my bayou once. I felt the same way, like something so magical had passed my way.

LInda Baie said...

I think those moments are to be remembered and if you didn't capture the photo, you have it cemented in your heart, and in your poem. Lovely thought of the times we have tried to grab it!

Tara Smith said...

I, too, love the story behind this, Amy. My kids would love it, too - we always speak of catching poetry in the moment.

Carol Varsalona said...

I can hear the wings flapping, Amy. The visual of the 9 turkeys flying away is painted in my mind. If I have any more flapping cold air blowing my way, I will become like the frozen icicles that have graced my holly tree. I love the title of your poem and the advice you give the children. Would you consider placing this poem and photo in the Winter Whisperings Gallery?

Catherine Johnson said...

This is a really special poem, Amy. I love the line 'each fat turkey'

Linda A. said...

What a great moment. One not to forget! I love that the tree won't forget either!

Congratulations to the book winner too.

Donna Smith said...

I like the idea of writing about what happened moments before or after a picture was taken.
What an impressive sight...picture or no picture!

Catherine said...

What a sight that must have been! Isn't it amazing the sights there are to behold when we pay attention? Turkeys often do look "like some cartoon/from a wild imagination," especially when they fly. I love your advice that our ways to "find ideas will work for us across all types of writing." Thanks for sharing, Amy!

Mary Lee said...

This poem is a tribute to all those moments in life that we have witnessed, but failed to capture and hold.

Kimberley said...

I read this poem. Then I listened to you read it on that cool sound cloud. Then I shared it with my 9 year old son. Then I thought about Kevin Henkes book Birds. Thank you for this time with my coffee, quiet.