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From pictures to poems

November 7, 2012

I like taking photographs and sometimes a picture will inspire a poem. What I select from the photo – how I frame it – can influence my poem. I recently photographed a butterfly with a torn wing. It’s late in the year to see Red Admirals still flying around and, in strong winds, no wonder s/he was a little the worse for wear. When I trimmed my picture it was the shape of a letter box. That shape became my ‘virtual letter box’ through which I imagined looking at the world – and the butterfly – going by. Here’s my picture and poem – followed by a writing challenge for you.



I’m looking at life through a letterbox.
It’s safe behind closed doors:
No wasp to sting, no sudden shocks,
No threats, no debts, no broken laws.
No fears, no foes, no trampled toes,
No gossipers who mutter by,
But, look! – one lonely butterfly,
Still pretty with a wing that tore.
Poor thing. It has no letterbox.
Poor thing. It has no door.

poem © Celia Warren 2012

Now try writing your own poem ‘Through a …’ whatever it is you are looking through. It might be a letterbox, too. Or it might be through your fingers, through a telescope; binoculars (maybe through the wrong end?); a toilet roll; sunglasses; a glass tank (perhaps you are a goldfish?), through a sheet of bubble-wrap.

Or you might just look through your own letterbox and write about what you see.

Have a go!

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