Whether you’re a poet or an artist, there are some ways to keep an image fresh in your mind. This works wonders, when the focus is in nature, landscape or people. To catch the essence is to capture the moment with memory, notes and/or photography.
1. Memory–If you have a good or an excellent photographic memory, you can remember how it feels when you see the image. Let it trickle down in your mind–the colors, the senses, the portrait. When you’ve found the muse, stare at it outside in person, or through the window. (During winter, do it inside and via the windows.) Close your eyes, count to ten, and open them.
If you dabble in both poetry and art, go for it. Paint /draw the image first–it doesn’t matter, if it’s in crayons, colored pencils or chalk, or with paint. While it dries, write from your heart. Use good descriptions. Use your senses and let it rip! Feel free to free write, before you polish it in edits for a final draft.
2. Notes–If you’re not good in art or don’t have a good reliable memory, you can use an alternate method. Bring a notebook or notepad with pencils or pens, or a portable tape recorder/digital voice recorder. If you have a laptop, bring that along too.
Scribble down your first thoughts and feelings, the symbolism, the imagery in short-hand or long-hand writing. With a DVR, speak your mind and record it. With your laptop, you can do both, especially if you have a speaking component in your WP document, and then can save it in memory. Keep your notes in a folder or in a WP document with an external disk drive. If you lose track of thought, you can always refresh your memory and revisit/replay your notes at any time.
3. Photography–Lastly, you can do what I did a few years ago. I’ve captured it in film. If you have any kind of camera–whether digital or not–or a camcorder, you can utilize it to really envision the images of people, places and things. (I’ve used my photos of sunrises, sunsets and city lights.)
Use up the entire film cartridge with different muses, get it developed, download it on a CD-Rom (even for your laptop or desktop computer), and save it for your digital photo album. Keep the duplicates and negatives for a regular photo album for a back-up source in safe-keeping. Like with written or tape-recorded notes, you can always go back to your photos at any time.
There you have it! Whether by memory, note-taking, and/or photography, you can capture the essence of fantastic poetry twofold… or threefold. Start with one and try another. Try all three! You’ll be amazed on how affective it works.
(posted by Michele for Kristen)