The Final Dance
- Click on poem and art to view clearer:
“The Human Soul needs to know it is Loved”
by Michael Wiwczaruk
Perhaps it’s fitting that this last PoARTry post comes during Arts Dundas Weekend — as this is the event that was the idea for the project in the first place. Each year, Tower Poets choose artworks made by Carnegie Gallery Member Artists that inspire them to create poetry. These are displayed together in Dundas store windows during the event. Artwalk: Join us on a guided tour as we stroll on Sunday, November 5th (meeting in front of Carnegie Gallery at 1:00 pm), experiencing the unique charm and small-town ambiance of Dundas’ quaint old downtown, as the poems are read aloud as we view the accompanying artwork.
Ekphrastic Poetry Explained…
Ekphrastic poetry explores a pre-existing work of art, expressing a visual medium in verbal form and expanding on the themes of the piece of art at hand. (Source: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/ekphrastic-poetry)
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? We, at Tower Poetry Society, along with textile artist Lorraine Roy, thought we’d see what would happen if we reversed the process… instead of words describing art, we decided to have art describing words…. Reverse Ekphrasticism(?)
POET: NORMAN BROWN
Norman Brown is a Tower Poetry Society past president. He has published some poetry books. He has done at least one PoetTalk for Tower Poetry Society Members.
WHEN DID YOU START WRITING POETRY?
Can’t really remember exactly when, I think I have always written verse. My eight line ‘City Streets’ doggerel made it into my Grade Seven yearbook.
WHY DO YOU WRITE POETRY?
As I mentioned, I just always have written poetry. (We’re talking about the process, right?) Lyrical Poetry, dealing with experience or emotion, is somewhat therapeutic. Much of my poetry tells me about myself or my philosophy on life. As well I write because it provides a mental challenge, getting those ideas down in words, and when successful there’s the satisfaction you get from making those stubborn thoughts and ideas behave properly. Plus, there’s the obvious satisfaction in having created something.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED AND WOULD SHARE WITH NEW POETS?
- Read the best! Always keep reading other poetry.
- Read your poem aloud to yourself as you are polishing it.
- Workshop your poems.
- Imitate. (In a nice, legal sort of way.)
- Carry a notebook or keep a diary. Always keep an eye or an ear out for turns of phrases, contradictions, accents.
- Listen to the voices of people around you, in crowds etc.
- Keep your meaning clear.
CAN YOU COMMENT ON YOUR PROCESS?
- Polish, polish, polish.
- Hit ‘delete’ without feeling guilty.
- I ‘web’ a lot to get started.
- I get ideas from my trusty 1983 copy of Writing the Natural Way.
- I look out my back window a lot for inspiration; so far, so good.
Norman says: “I have a boxful of A Failure of Flowers, my self published collection of poems for sale for the discerning purveyor. New price, $30.00 each, signed (postage extra, usually about $5.00).
Photos from: https://towerpoetry.ca/poetryplus/
PENCIL ARTIST: MICHAEL WIWCZARUK
About the Artist:
Michael is Tamara Campbell’s (a previous contributor’s) son. He is currently in jail, so Tamara had to choose a poem for him, since he is not permitted access to a range of documents.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT POEM?
I did not personally choose this poem, but I did enjoy it. There were some aspects of the poem that were hard for me to express in the picture that I drew. I tried to understand the general message in the poem and paid attention to how it made me feel. I understand that everyone has a different perspective and that someone else might envision something totally different. Poems speak to each of us in different ways and spark thoughts and feelings based on all of our different experiences.
HAVE YOU DONE THIS KIND OF PROJECT BEFORE? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
I have never done this type of project before, but I enjoyed the challenge of it and would probably do it again. I have previously thought of including poems with some of my sketches.
WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES? WHAT WAS EASY?
I found it hard to incorporate everything into the picture. I didn’t know how to express “perfumes of Zanzibar” and “swirls and eddies”. Again, I tried to express the poem in its entirety and portray how it made me feel.
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR PROCESS FROM IDEA TO FINISHED WORK? WHY THOSE COLOURS AND SHAPES?
I am currently incarcerated and so my materials are very simple as I only have access to stubby golf pencils (usually 2B). We don’t have pencil sharpeners, so I must sharpen them on the rough parts of the cement floor. First, I have to soak the pencil in water to dislodge the pencil lead so that I can pull it out to create a sharper point for fine details. The pencils are not art pencils and are low quality, but I have learned to make them work.
SIZE OF THE PIECE. PRICE IF FOR SALE. WHERE IS IT AVAILABLE?
My drawing was done in pencil on 8.5×11″ paper, unmounted. It will be spray fixed to prevent smudging and will have a board backing to support it, but it is not framed or mounted.
It is for sale – $225.00
Please contact Tamara Campbell at email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing it.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
I am very interested in realism and fine detail. My specialty is portraits. When you have to analyze someone so deeply, you come to see and recognize not only their beauty, but the beauty of the captured memory as well.
More Pencil Drawings:
Michael’s mother, Tamara Campbell speaks on his behalf… “This is one he did for his Grandfather (my Dad) showing Dad at 3 different stages in his life. One when he was about 9, as a soldier when he was about 18 and the third when he was 87. Michael loves doing meaningful portraits like this – showing different stages of a person’s life and important things in their lives. The house shown here is one that my Dad designed and built and has lots of good memories for my kids and myself.”
DID YOU KNOW? YOU CAN POP OVER TO OUR TOWER POETRY FACEBOOK GROUP FOR DISCUSSION!
WE HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED THIS 10th & FINAL DANCE OF POETRY AND VISUAL ART.