Site Specific Project- Poetry and Rivers

I decided as part of my research to look at the poetic and metaphorical side to rivers. I wanted to see how words can be used to tell the beauty and journey of rivers, hoping that this will influence me in my own work, possibly making me think in a more creative and poetic sense to my photographs.

The first poem I looked at was both creatively written and also displayed on the page:

A River’s Journey by Angela Yardy

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 18.04.49

A River’s Journey by Angela Yardy, is a very unique poem due to its layout; the poem seems to be shaped to form a river, combined with blue writing highlighting the idea of a river and the journey of a river, how it is uneven and flowing. Yardy writes about the journey of a river from the source to the sea; even though in my work I am not going to follow the river to the sea, I am planning on starting at the source of the River Sherbourne, following the river’s journey through the natural environment until it arrives at the city. When Yardy writes about the speed of the river using descriptive words, ‘splishing, splashing, tumbling’, it made me think about how I want to capture the movement and flow of the river echoing these words. I could used a long shutter speed to capture the movement of the river, having blurred photographs will show the flow.

The River Flows by Kailey Jennings

The river flows quiet and swift
It twists and turns as the waters drift
It branches and breaks—its fingers entwine
It grows and grows—snakes like a vine.

The river with the soft scent of a calm day
With the smell of clean—hanging—still—in the grey
And sweetness carried on the breath of morning
It caresses the river—the waters flowing.

The river—crystalline from winter melt
And sweet with the summer soon felt
It tastes of springtime—the season between
And flows the river—so blue and clean.

The river—its lazy trickle of water
The musical rhythm—the ocean’s daughter
It whispers and murmurs—a song of its own
Playing over and over—in continuous drone.

The river—so clear and cool
The water flows—the color like a jewel
Its soft arms embrace the shore
The river surging from the days before.

The river flows quiet and swift
It twists and turns as the waters drift
It branches and breaks—its fingers in twine
It grows and grows—snakes like a vine.

This is a beautiful poem, that is very descriptive and poetic, it goes into great detail about the river, describing the river using the senses. Jennings describes the sight, the smell and the sound of the river. In my own work I could consider different ways of combining my photography with the other senses, possibly looking at the sound of the river. The quote, ‘lazy trickle of water’ describes both the movement and the sound of the river, this made me think of the work of Sian MacFarlane, and her archival work that combines the use of sound and images to give a whole sense of being their. In my own work I could use this combination of sound and imagery to transport may viewer down the river, allowing them to create their own personal journey with the river. By looking at rivers in a more metaphorical sense, ‘It twists and turns as the waters drift, It branches and breaks—its fingers entwine’ Jennings personifies the river, making it more relatable to the reader; even though in my work I do not plan to personify the river in my photograph, I do feel that possibly showing areas of Coventry and the surroundings of the river could make my images relatable and also give context to my work.

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