Thursday, February 25, 2010

My First Attempt at a Visual Poem

I need a better term than visual poem, first of all. My friend mistyped when she was responding to yesterday's post via Facebook: vidual poem. I've been thinking about that all day. I know that some people are using the term animated poem, but as you'll see, my poem is a collection of photos, not very animated at all.

So, without further delay, let's see if I can upload. I spent some time trying to upload the other day with no luck, and yesterday, I thought I was taking my finished visual poem with me on a thumb drive. Imagine my surprise when my poem had words but no pictures. I finally discovered that Movie Maker has several Save features. One lets you save the project, and one lets you save the finished movie.

For several reasons, I only did stanza one of my poem. The first reason: the poem hasn't been published in traditional form. The second reason: it took a long time to do this much. And I still haven't added any sound. I'll experiment with sound next week.

Here's the way that stanza one would look on a page:

Mary’s Sonogram

All children appear otherworldly in the womb,
a strange weather system come to disrupt
the world as we have known
it, to rain blessings on unsuspecting souls.

And here's my visual poem for the same stanza:

Some notes about the photos I chose, in case you're interested. The little boy in the photo is my nephew. I got the idea for the poem on the night we saw the pictures of him in the sonogram, about a week before Christmas. On our way home, my dad said, "Imagine what would have happened if the Virgin Mary could have had a sonogram." The photo on the "strange weather system" slide is actually a shot from the top of the Cape Florida lighthouse.

I decided to add a photo credits slide at the end because I realized how many of those photos I didn't take. In one shot, I thought, those aren't my shoes; those aren't my husband's shoes; I bet someone else took this shot (we went to the lighthouse with our Jacksonville friends, Lisa and Russell Davis, and we took a ton of photos).

Now, as I've said before, I have no music in the background, no me reading the words. I kind of like the silent version, but I'd be interested to know what other people think.

I'm in that dangerous artistic phase where I'm in love with what I've created, and part of that love stems from the struggle of creating it and the euphoria of starting to master a new computer program. I realize that there are some slides where the words are hard to read, and I worked on that for about an hour before I ran out of time. I'd like to be able to arrange the text, and I haven't figured out a way to do that. But I'm so happy to have reached a logical stopping place that I just don't care.

Here's what I can't decide. Is it worth it to keep working in this medium? Obviously, with my next book publication, I'd like to have some of these to send out into the world to promote the book. It would be easier if I knew what that book was going to be, since I have several manuscripts making the rounds.


Unknown said...

Very nice, Kristin; a worthy first project!! This reminds me of the years I worked in the Audio/Visual Team at my church back in Indiana. I spent countless hours happily combining pictures or colored backgrounds with text, that is, the lyrics to the worship songs, and making them both asthetically pleasing and functional. These were to be displayed on a large overhead screen while the praise music was played, effectively providing one hymnal for the 300+ congregants in attendance!! I learned very quickly that if they couldn't see the text, they couldn't sing the text!! (Rehearsal night was always fun... From my perch in the Sound Booth located in the balcony, I would keep my eyes on the singers whenever I put up a screen with a questionable combination. If they all began adjusting their glasses, lowering their handheld microphones, or looking my direction, I knew... and quickly changed the combination to something better!) Good times!! :')

Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

Thanks for those memories!