Respond to art

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Award-winning poet Karen Solie invites you to write a poem in response to a work of art in another genre. Try it!


Choose a piece of art from another discipline — music, painting, dance, film, whatever (it might also be sport, or an everyday scene) — and spend 15 minutes writing lines describing it literally. That is, no similes or metaphors or images, just what’s there. Then, spend 15 minutes writing the associations it triggers. These can be images, memories, ideas, feelings. But try to not overuse the first person, the “I”. For example, you don’t need to write “It makes me feel . . .” or “I remember . . .” Just write what the feeling or memory is. Then, shuffle those lines together — start with one from the first 15 minutes, then one from the next — and see what happens.