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Photography and poetry

Hi. I know, is some self directed post, yes, i want to mention my blog
But, a big BUT, i want to know another blogs about this relationship: photography and poetry. I am and was a journalist for a long time and more the old i go more i trust more in my feelings that in my brain about the profession. So, now i am going to take all with a pich of salt, no preassures. And i would love to know others points of view about the things i love more after my family.

by Hernan Zenteno at 2009-09-30 01:53:59 UTC Temperley , Argentina | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hi Hernan… I don’t know of other blogs about photography and poetry, or their relationship, but there must be some. I do something similar, often quote literature, sometimes poems, and it is mostly personal thoughts, and my photographs, that I post. It is rather a pointless exercise, but I do not use the work of other photographers ( I feel one should ask for the permission and it gets complicated) and do not lift stuff from other blogs (even though I follow quite a few).
If interested you can check it out at http://vebahood.wordpress.com/.
All the Best,

by [former member] | 30 Sep 2009 02:09 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
i feel there is a strong kink between photography and poetry…

its not poetry in the classical form but my writing http://847twentyeight.wordpress.com/ is an expression of what i feel.

by John Robinson | 30 Sep 2009 08:09 | Pietermaritzburg, South Africa | | Report spam→
herman :)))))

come visit us, you’ll get lots of photography AND POETRY…and wine! :)))


by [former member] | 30 Sep 2009 12:09 | toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Love it. Tweeted it across theuniverse just now, I love it so. Looking forward to seeing some more.

by Ando Perez | 30 Sep 2009 13:09 | Plaka, Crete, Greece | | Report spam→
Thanks all for the links shared and the comments. Hey Velibor, i believe is no problem to share others work but i began recently and my comments are for friends. I will see how goes when i have not more known people. There was a blog of Alec Soth but he can’t manage to dedicate time to do it and the shoots. This make me think so i try to not put preassure myself to add content. Bob, i tend to think that is an equation. Photography and poetry tends to wine. Saludos

by Hernan Zenteno | 30 Sep 2009 16:09 | Temperley, Argentina | | Report spam→

I´ve always gone to poetry for inspiration, perhaps because it´s so image based, and so direct, just like the photograph or like a piece of music. Tengo algo que enviarte, pero necesito localizarlo primero. A ver si me acuerdo. It´s a piece I did to explain, mostly to myself, why I made photogaphs. It´s written as a poem of sorts. I´ll try to send it on to you tomorrow sometime.

by David Lauer | 01 Oct 2009 03:10 | Chihuahua, Mexico | | Report spam→
i find that when writing i first just type out what i feel first, but i don’ t worry about grammar, spelling and word order. it is primary that i get out the feel of what is in my head. only then i will go back over what i have writen and adjust it for final publishing…

this way i preserve the heart and feel of the thoughts in what i write!


by John Robinson | 01 Oct 2009 08:10 | Pietermaritzburg, South Africa | | Report spam→
i also go to poetry often for inspiration. rock on, poetry lovers. My favorite right now is this excerpt from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass":

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars,
And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren,
And the tree-toad is a chef-d’oeuvre for the highest,
And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven,
And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery,
And the cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue,
And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels,
And I could come every afternoon of my life to look at the farmer’s girl boiling her iron tea-kettle and baking shortcake.

by Alex Blackwelder | 03 Oct 2009 03:10 | Knoxville, United States | | Report spam→
Hey David, you can send it to me hzenteno at gmail dot com. Thank Alex for this selection of Whitman. Any more?

by Hernan Zenteno | 03 Oct 2009 21:10 | Temperley, Argentina | | Report spam→
Hola. Busca fotografías de nuestro colega Chema Madoz. Creo que te sorprenderá, y mucho. www.chemamadoz.com

by Ruben MB | 04 Oct 2009 09:10 (ed. Oct 4 2009) | madrid, Spain | | Report spam→
Hola Hernan,
some days ago I found a phrase of Haroldo Conti…it’s not poetry, but it’s very poetic and it made me think for some days..about storytelling:

“No sé si tiene sentido pero me digo cada vez: contá la historia de la gente como si cantaras en medio de un camino, despojate de toda pretensión y cantá, simplemente cantá con todo tu corazón: que nadie recuerde tu nombre sino esa vieja y sencilla historia. (Haroldo Conti)”

and here a non-professional translation for the non spanish speakers: “I don’t know whether it’s right or not, but I always tell me: tell the people’s story as if you were singing in the middle of a way, liberate yourself of all ambition and sing, just sing with all your heart: that anyone will remember your name but this old and simple story.”

I think words and photography are strongly connected…and dealing with it, it can improve our skills and our perception of what is around us…


by Sarah Pabst | 04 Oct 2009 11:10 (ed. Oct 4 2009) | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
Interesting and inspiring, and part of the influence for my own post, here:

After countless “film vs digital” discussions, my own nagging feelings that these discussions have missed the point- digital photography and photoshop has changed what we do and how we see- and has made us, and our process, more like what a poet does.

“When I shoot black and white with film I’m limited by the film. When I shoot black and white with a digital camera the limitation must be self-imposed. I’ve moved the discipline from the medium to myself.

…discussion and argument moves the intellect, but that poetry moves the soul. Why? It is precisely because the poet expresses our innermost feelings with words. Words. When we use reason and rhetoric we use every word we can to cajole and convince. The poet uses only those words, and specifically those words, which express and imply- words that mean more than they say, to speak that which cannot be spoken- to speak to the soul.

With the entire human language at the poet’s fingertips, the poet must use discipline instinct, understanding, wisdom, intellect- to select, and present, only those words that serve the vision of the soul.

We must not be artists, painters… photographers anymore. We must be learn to be poets."

by [former member] | 04 Oct 2009 11:10 (ed. Oct 4 2009) | | Report spam→
Are the words the poem just as the image is the photograph? If not, where does the poem exist?

by Barry Milyovsky | 04 Oct 2009 12:10 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Although I do not have a blog, for the past several years my inspiration has come from poetry set to music. You can see my endeavor at two different places, a series of photos for the German lieder, with a theme of water, and my own compositions of Japanese songs with the ancient Japanese text.

The water songs with photos are here.

My Japanese songs with photos are here


I appropriated my past photos with the poems I selected to compose, but I have made a multimedia piece, called Shirasaki, using the photos I took after I had composed.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 04 Oct 2009 12:10 (ed. Oct 4 2009) | Baltimore, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Sarah, you surprise me with that quote of Haroldo. I like very much that phrase and make me link some words with others of Eugene Smith talking about a “little voice”. But have not good connection here to search and paste the link. About you traduction i think, i am not professional either, is in the final: “that nobody remember your name, only this old and simple story”. And maybe in the begining “I don´t know if it make sense”.
Ruben, Ted and Tomoko, thanks for the link, hope to check all when i fund another better connection.
And Barry, the poems stalks (acecha) between silences. The words are only a photo of the poem.

by Hernan Zenteno | 04 Oct 2009 14:10 | Temperley, Argentina | | Report spam→
Hernan, if the poem exists between silences what about the sounds of the words themselves, their rhyme, their meter? These are not the poem itself? But if the poem does stalk, or lie in ambush, between the silences, as you say, does this mean that there are as many poems as there are readers of the words that the poet has written? Is this, then, a difference between poetry and photography?

by Barry Milyovsky | 04 Oct 2009 15:10 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
heck yeah man! i think alternate expressions of creativity are natural pairings. i have always intended to combine my photogaraphy with poetry. my personal writing has evolved towards a more poetic prose, rather than the typical metered verse and such. a well composed photograph, poetery, music, painting…all the same language, different dialects. all different aspects of the same spirit. i personally believe that there are times when it is neccessary to bring in the written piece to fully complete the visual work, at least from the standpoint of assuring that the artist is fully understood…when being understood is his/her intention.

by ronnie pettit | 04 Oct 2009 15:10 | Atlanta, United States | | Report spam→
hi, I was in Buenos Aires last year and I found this poem just walking. I think the best conection between poetry and photography is that one made with the feet. If you want to have a look at the poem (translated to english) please enter and read it in here (try on some confortable shoes before!)
all the best!


by oskar alegria | 04 Oct 2009 19:10 | guéthary, france, France | | Report spam→
Photography and poetry = Trying to get laid.

by Mikethehack | 04 Oct 2009 21:10 | Way up my own ass, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
hahah. whatever works, right? what’s a guy to do if he’s not in a band?

by ronnie pettit | 04 Oct 2009 21:10 | Atlanta, United States | | Report spam→
Oskar, me gustó tu ingenioso poema, sobre todo El amor es un fe de erratas (quizá una fe de ratas, también) y, Tang O y Buena Honda, Igual la última ortografía de BUENOS AIRES con la ene de mierda.

Aqui te pongo algo que escribí en inglés para un libro que hice de paisaje. Si lo querés en castellano, lo tengo también, pues es el texto original, la traducción fue al inglés. Que curioso, no?

by David Lauer | 04 Oct 2009 23:10 | Chihuahua, Mexico | | Report spam→
I wrote this text for a book I was doing on landscapes of the state of Chihuahua. Here it is in translation.


For Margaret Read Lauer


Photographic witnessing is twofold: it conjugates first and third persons in a single object that later unfolds in two beings, one who discovers and another who rediscovers through the first one’s frame. The world and the I, one within and another without, both conversing with everything else.

I gather bits of reality; parse echoes of a distant cosmos for my tapestry of mirrors.

Pure image -free from word bonds hardened through time- the photograph belongs to the realm of sensation, of suggestion, stands closer to poetry whose music mimics images . . . and explodes into thought.

Words akin from the start, images nourish the imagination and imagination gives birth to images, the bottomless, plummeting spiral of creation.

Our perception of our immediate surroundings streams constantly through our eyes: we visualize fears, fantasies, life dreams. As Garcia Lorca said, “All the world’s light fits in an eye.”


Somewhere in the world this exists; I caught an undeniable double of a truth in my eye of glass, the magnificent trap that breaks the flow of life and captures the awareness of becoming.

A relativity machine. The camera fuses matter, energy and the speed of light, time and space, the inner world and the outer world, freezing it all in a static image.

Exploring the world of light and matter leads to the root of all discoveries: the question. Inside we discover what we were seeking without and sometimes we discover without what we sought within.

Are the symmetries frozen in images of nature figments of the imagination, or can part of the Great Mystery to which we belong filter through?


Like tired nomads we stumble across the plains and canyons searching for what we’ve never seen; we seek eloquence and wander as we stalk new ways of seeing what we’ve seen before, fully aware that soon it will all vanish, but trusting that, somehow, its shimmering vision will outlast us.

Awesome to glimpse perfection manifest in the newborn fern as it unfolds, in the bark layers of the Douglas Fir, in the flower’s impeccable seduction. May my speechless wonder become images that can rise up against the overwhelming sadness I feel in the wake of destruction left by the constant, drunken roar of logging trucks laden with the forest.

All the world’s darkness fits in a photograph. Who is to say that chaos isn’t our greatest invention?


Dusk journeys into gloom and dawn hurtles toward the zenith amid fleeting combinations of light and shadow. The delicate balance always in flux: day is a mere extension of night; life an outgrowth of death eternal.

The letters’ dark masses jut from the landscape of the blank page. The void always stands alone, but to hold their meaning, our scrawls need it for a backdrop. Like our words, the forests, mountains and rivers miraculously defy the abyss, despite everything.


As prayers turn slowly to dust, the gaze climbs toward an empty space separating the sky from the stars. Perhaps there is still time to fix some of what has been broken.


. . .

by David Lauer | 04 Oct 2009 23:10 | Chihuahua, Mexico | | Report spam→
Muy grandes los fragmentos David, y sin duda muy fotopoéticos:

All the world’s darkness fits in a photograph. Who is to say that chaos isn’t our greatest invention?

Estoy seguro de que tienes una imagen para cada letra, enjoy chihuahua, sin maiz no hay país!


by oskar alegria | 05 Oct 2009 09:10 | guéthary, france, France | | Report spam→
Hola Hernan,

if you find a better connection and could send the Eugene Smith words, would be great! and thank you for your translation as well…it’s funny, because somehow we all do our own interpretation translating something…Oskar, I like your photographic poetry..and some are so typically ‘Buenos Aires’ that you really made me smile…David, very nice text..especially the part oskar already quoted..lo tenés en castellano? podrías mandarmelo también?

by Sarah Pabst | 05 Oct 2009 11:10 | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
Hi all, i am very busy with no poetry things. I wish to have more time to reply better but here i go.
Barry: yes and yes for the two first. No, i don’t think is a difference between photography and poetry. The rhyme exist in photography too, and i believe that the situations or things we photograph exist between silences, when we don’t see to them all the times, that are our silences. We have to discover and develop (revelar in spanish have to senses, reveal and develop, don’t know if in english is the same). This is my humble opinion.

Mikethehack: With the words of Neil Young :)

Well, I’m a married man
Respect my happy home
I’m a married man
Respect my happy home
Don’t tempt me baby
Stop singin’ stop singin’
Your old song.

Well, I work all day
Take my money back home
Yeah. I work all day
Take my money back home
I ain’t got time to party
Ain’t got time for you
No more.

Well, I’m a married man
Respect my happy home

David: have no time until now to enjoy your writing. Many thanks for send to me the spanish version too.

Sarah: I can’t found the text i remember, only something less complete. Now i read it is not so literal linked. But is not bad to copy here. “Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes, just sometimes, one photograph or group of them can lure our senses into awarness… someone, or perhaps many, among us maybe influenced to heed reason, to find way to right that which is wrong… the rest of us may perhaps feel greater sense of understanding and compassion for those whose lives are alien to our own… photography is a small voice.. it is an important voice in my life, but not the only one. I believe in it.”

Searching this text that i can’t found yet in the way i read it, maybe because the time and my memory and several books i read were borrowed, i founded this other quote

“Trust that little voice in your head that says ’wouldn’t it be intersting if…’ And the do it.” Duane Michals, More Joy of Photography.

I think that are some relationship between the way Haroldo Conti said to tell things and the little voice sometimes we hear inside us.

Oskar, your photos are very very porteñas. Even in its poetic spirit

by Hernan Zenteno | 08 Oct 2009 02:10 | Corrientes, Argentina | | Report spam→
@ mikethehack:

by [former member] | 08 Oct 2009 10:10 | | Report spam→
We see only a straw hat and raincoat,
but still the scarecrow
Does his job.


by Barry Milyovsky | 08 Oct 2009 14:10 (ed. Oct 8 2009) | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Here is my version of the topic


by Kristjan Logason | 08 Oct 2009 21:10 | Reykjavik, Iceland | | Report spam→
Hi Kristjan, thanks for link this post.

by Hernan Zenteno | 09 Oct 2009 02:10 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
hi hernan!

i have involve in a personal project since a year ago having a “conversation” with the poems of the poets Jaime Gil de Biedma, José Agustín Goytisolo y Carlos Barral. A way to explore my minds and myself, a experience…

(the presentation of the webproject it will be on 8th november in www.traficbcn.org)


by rafael arocha | 13 Oct 2009 16:10 | barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Hola Rafa. Many thanks for share. I am waiting for the 8 november then. Un abrazo.
David, many thanks for share your thoughts, i enjoyed the reading.

by Hernan Zenteno | 14 Oct 2009 02:10 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
it’s a really touching blog that you set up.
Congrats, I’ll come back.

by Michele Molinari | 16 Oct 2009 03:10 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
Hi Hernan,

www.aunqueseauninstante.com it´s on!

by rafael arocha | 14 Nov 2009 20:11 | barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Check out Magnum photographer Mark Power’s new collaboration ‘Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment’ with the poet Daniel Cockrill – http://www.markpower.co.uk/index.cfm?nid=6275

by Simon Roberts | 15 Nov 2009 10:11 | Brighton, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
i help run an arts night and publication that is poetry led but also publishes photography and other things at the same time.

the blog is www.clinicpresents.com


by Benjamin Thomas | 15 Nov 2009 13:11 | La Paz, Bolivia | | Report spam→
Many thanks Rafael. I like the the slideshow but the words are some tiny, at less for medium resolution. Nice selection.
Simon and Benjamin, i will see and read this sites. Thanks for share. I was something appart of poetry the last weeks, hope to back again.

by Hernan Zenteno | 15 Nov 2009 16:11 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
The Laboratory is a very good idea. I lost some words becasue english is not my mother lenguage and is dificult to navigate back and foward. But i like what i can catch.

by Hernan Zenteno | 15 Nov 2009 16:11 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→

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Hernan Zenteno, Photographer Hernan Zenteno
Buenos Aires , Argentina ( EZE )
John Robinson, Photographer John Robinson
(works with light)
Pigeon Club , South Africa
Ando Perez, Writer & Photographer Ando Perez
Writer & Photographer
Brighton , United Kingdom
David Lauer, photographer, translator David Lauer
photographer, translator
Chihuahua , Mexico
Alex Blackwelder, Student/ Explorer Alex Blackwelder
Student/ Explorer
Tulum , Mexico
Ruben MB, Photog.teacher/Photog. Ruben MB
(R MB)
Madrid , Spain ( MAD )
Sarah Pabst, student & photojournalist Sarah Pabst
student & photojournalist
Köln , Germany ( CGN )
Barry Milyovsky, totally unprofessional Barry Milyovsky
totally unprofessional
(emperor of ice cream )
New York , United States
Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria
ronnie pettit, photographer - artist ronnie pettit
photographer - artist
(sign me up)
Rabun County, Georgia , United States
oskar alegria, journalist oskar alegria
Guéthary, France , France
Mikethehack, Freelance thril performer Mikethehack
Freelance thril performer
Way Up My Own Ass , United Kingdom
Kristjan Logason, Photographer Kristjan Logason
(editorial and advertising)
Leikanger , Norway
rafael arocha, photographer rafael arocha
Barcelona , Spain
Michele Molinari, photographer | writer Michele Molinari
photographer | writer
Buenos Aires , Argentina ( EZE )
Simon Roberts, Photographer Simon Roberts
Brighton , United Kingdom
Benjamin Thomas, photographer Benjamin Thomas
London , United Kingdom


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