by Carl Scharwath, Art Editor
Is the photograph dependent upon the poem or is the poem dependent upon the photograph?
I love poetry and I love photography, but in my opinion, I find combinations of the two to be difficult to master. One or the other might have to be sacrificed to “fit creatively” with the other.
To borrow from Frederick Sommer: “If we can feel that whatever finally happens was not done at the expense of the thing photographed, we are okay. But many things, not only in the arts, not only in photography, but in many walks of life, get us rudely tangled with the awareness that one thing has been done at the expense of another. Something was skinned to the bone; something was absconded with.”
Why not think in terms of their working together, harmony, counterpoint, tension, and of course dialogue? Should we look for the poetry in the photograph or the words giving light to the moment in time captured by the camera? In my work the image is the birth of my idea followed by fragments of poetry to complete the reflection of thought. I have also worked in collaborations with another poet, where the photograph was presented to her and she created the poem to compliment. This adds a new dynamic of two artists attempting to enter the psyche of the others art.
As your new art editor, perhaps you will be inspired to attempt this. I would love to see your work published!