Monday, April 01, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.1

Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year for 2012 by Pierre Dalous
When you go to the Wikimedia Commons site, you can't help but notice the picture of the year for 2012 -- this pair of European Bee Eaters. This picture will be the inspiration for my first poem-of-the-day for National Poetry Month 2013. I'll walk you through my process and we'll see what I come up with by the end of the post!

When I'm using an image as my inspiration for a poem, the first thing I do is just jot down whatever I see and whatever comes to mind:

gift
colors

I didn't get much down before curiosity got the best of me and I Googled this vibrant bird to learn more about it.

near-passerine (tree-dwelling)
before eating they remove the stingers
curved beak

I started jotting some lines, crossing through the ones I didn't like so that if I decided to use them later, I could still read what was there:

We are near-passerine,
eat bees minus sting.

go on sorties
for hornets

Black beak, red eye
I throw toss my gift into the sky.

I watch, you catch

Stained glass color swatches
cover us in patches.

I'm starting to get some couplets that I like (why couplets? I have no idea...) Now I'll try a different order:


Black beak, red eye                    (I don't like the eye/I...)
I toss my gift into the sky.    

We are near-passerine,
eat bees minus sting.


Stained glass color swatches
cover us in patches.


Time for a title? I'm not satisfied with the flow of the lines yet...

Black beak, red eye
Toss gift into the sky

Near-passerine
eat bees minus sting

Stained glass patches
Glowing feather swatches

Tunnel nester
Merops apiaster

I think I'll just call it what it is...




EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster)


Black beak, red eye
Toss gift into the sky

Near-passerine
eat bees minus sting

Stained glass patches
Glowing feather swatches

Tunnel nester
Merops apiaster

DRAFT © Mary Lee Hahn, 2013

I'm not completely satisfied with this yet. After all, I've only worked on it for about an hour! What were YOU inspired by this pair of European Bee-Eaters to create ?

Carol, from Carol's Corner wrote this one really quickly...

Bees?
Complainers don't like 'em
But when you pull the stingers out
They are actually
quite tasty.

© Carol Wilcox, 2013


...and then wrote back later with (WOW!) this:


"European Bee-Eaters"

Not for us
dull sparrow brown
gloss raven black
or even blue of jay. 

Not for us
a shallow scrape
a rocky ledge
a woven crescent cup. 

Not for us 
chill rain or breeze 
a narrow range
still solitude.  

Not for us
those wriggly worms
the crunch of seeds
sweet meat of fruit.

We prefer 
an adventurous life- 
mixed colors bright
migration wide
deep tunnels homes
companions close
and bees
to please our palates.

Carol Wilcox
(c) 2013


Here's Cathy Mere's (Reflect & Refine) quick-write: 


On this branch we perch.
Together
we wait,
we watch,
we listen.
Soon we hear it,
A gentle buzz,
Growing louder as it approaches.
Snap!
Dinner.

© Cathy Mere, 2013



From Kevin at Kevin's Meandering Mind:

The bee sees only green pastures
and flowers dripping with nectar,
a soft and steady hum of wings
moving it forward into the unknown
that waits patiently on every branch.

© Kevin Hodgson, 2013




The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 

"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations."


Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.

11 comments:

  1. What a vibrant photo to start your month! This reminds me of Laura's postcard project, in that I'll bet you learn a lot from all the research you'll be inspired to do.

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  2. This is such a great idea, Mary Lee! It was interesting to read about your process, too. I love using images to inspire writing, and those bee eaters are stunning! I'll be visiting Wikipedia Commons later to see what catches my eye.
    Catherine

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  3. Wow, just one hour for a whole poem. And a poem with a great rhythm, and terrific words (I have never heard passerine) and strong images (love the stained glass patches) and ends with science. This is pretty darn close to perfect right now, I think!

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  4. This is a fabulous idea! I love how you share your source and your process. Plus that name - Merops apiaster - is a poem in itself to say aloud.

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  5. When I see creatures so colored like that, it makes me in awe of the whole evolution process, & why did they become bee eaters, why not seed eaters? So interesting! The poem is terrific, Mary Lee. You've captured the basics, & given us a chance to look for more if we want to. I love your project-might travel to Wikimedia Commons for a poem later in the week. I'll be sure to link with you too!

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  6. This is a fun idea, Mary Lee. Will you posting any of the student poems? I'd love to read some of their poetry inspired by media.

    Thanks for taking us through your process. It was interesting to watch your poem take shape.

    Here's a quick attempt:


    On this branch we perch.
    Together
    we wait,
    we watch,
    we listen.
    Soon we hear it,
    A gentle buzz,
    Growing louder as it approaches.
    Snap!
    Dinner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Cathy, I'll ABSOLUTELY be posting student poetry and other creations inspired by the media I pick from Wikimedia Commons!

      Delete
    2. PS--Thanks for playing along! I added your poem to the post!

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  7. Thank you for your post. I have never heard of Wikimedia Commons so it will be fun to check it out. I think I will give this a try during April. Thanks again for bringing us along with you. This is my second year for April online at the Kidlitosphere and I am so impressed with the variety and the creativity. So inspiring. If I get a poem, I will post.
    Janet F.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The bee sees only green pastures
    and flowers dripping with nectar,
    a soft and steady hum of wings
    moving it forward into the unknown
    that waits patiently on every branch.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mary Lee, you need to do a nature or even a just-birds collection... love how you warble!

    ReplyDelete

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