My creativity, positivity, and art challenge this week is to use things found in some sort of print form — magazines, papers, letters, cards, coloring books, even junk mail is fair game — in my calendar journal posts.
Today I grabbed an old Bella Grace magazine for inspiration . As I flipped through the magazine I was drawn to two pages with images filled with words. I decided to do a riff on a black out poem.
I clipped words and phrases that meant something to me. I looked for words within words. I cut and rearranged the words to create new phrases and thoughts.
These are some of the words, I didn’t use. I didn’t see any connections that struck me so I stashed them in a bag for future use. Now, I see phrases that eluded me as I worked the first time. Here are two: Positivity is healthy, and Turn goals into friends.
I enjoy the black out poetry process, and see more possibility, when I cut the piece apart, rather than use the typical method. I think it’s the ability to see things together, and apart, as well as the increased opportunity to move the words around. Seeing the words from different angles — even upside down — increases my brain’s ability to concoct new phrases, see as yet unseen connections, and have aha moments.
It reminds me of Edward DeBono’s concept of lateral thinking. The easiest way to explain lateral thinking is to imagine looking at something from the side. When you do, you see a completely new item. For instance, a rectangular sheet of paper suddenly becomes a line. And, depending on which side you look at, it could be long line, a short line, or even a line with a point somewhere in the between the two ends. Oh, and if the paper doesn’t stay perfectly straight you can see all sorts of other shapes.
But, back to my cut out poem.
I arranged and rearranged the words in today’s space. I returned to the pile of cut papers and searched out other words. Every once in awhile, I spoke the words out loud to see if I liked the phrasing, meter, and emphasis.
I always kept in mind the vibe I hoped to create, and the story I wanted to tell. The general tone and direction remained the same, but the words themselves changed as I pondered and noticed new possibilities.
Finally pleasantly satisfied, I glued them to the page.
Other than some fab advice in my journal, what are my take aways? As the lead learner in my classroom what did I learn? What do I want to bring to my learners and incorporate into my teaching practice?
Remember, use, and teach about lateral thinking.
It’s good to be inspired by others.
If you take the ideas of others and make them your own it’s not copying, it’s not cheating. It’s collaborating, creating, and being inspired!
Look for things you know.
Look for things that are unique, unusual, or that surprise you.
Be open to new ways.
Connections are important. Search for them, see them, and make them — especially ones that surprise or entertain you
Wonder about the connections and possibility you noticed, as well as those you didn’t.
Embrace the importance of your story
Explore and enjoy the sound of words and phrasing
Search for the best but enjoy the rest
Iterate, iterate, iterate.
Remember there is always tomorrow rich with possibility and new opportunities to go again.
I like positive vibes. thanks
Oh, what a privilege, indeed, to be simply alive. My appreciation of that is a major reason why I write. Love this valuable insight into the writing process: “I always kept in mind the vibe I hoped to create, and the story I wanted to tell. The general tone and direction remained the same, but the words themselves changed as I pondered and noticed new possibilities.” Well-done!
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This reminds me of Penny Kittle talking about taking song lyrics and cutting them up to create something new. I have tried this and it is more difficult than one thinks it should be. Your poems are perfect to keep as a mantra.
Haven’t heard of Penny Kittle – Just looked her up. Really like her Book Love Foundation.
I love doing these kinds of mindful left brain activities and especially when building a positive message to myself or for others, but the icing was how you connected your process to education and brain research. Thanks.
Thanks, Margaret. I love making connections with my learners. Makes their work so much more real and my teaching much better 😁
I love blackout poems and found poems of all kinds! Yours was so lovely, and your reflections on what you learned were inspiring!
Thanks, Julie! I looked up found poems to see other types and came upon this phrase “a poetic collage of sorts” — how fantabulous is that?
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That sounds so like you! Love it!
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I did a found poem for summer and just recently took it down from the bulletin board. Your words made me think I should do one for fall – my absolute favorite season of the year! My favorite lines: “Focus on
what could go right.”
Thanks, Ramona! I think you should do one too! 😀 That’s one of my favorite things as well. Reminds me of Winne the Pooh and Piglet — ““Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?” “Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.” 😀
Play and Breathe. Your playful approach to poetry brought joy to you and your readers.
Thanks, Terje! 😀 To me, as well.
Thanks, Loralee! 🙂
You, my friend, are a gift to all! Thank you for this – Positivity is healthy, and Turn goals into friends. As I tell you often – you are my hero! Thank you for your courageous, ferocious, and contagious positivity! I AM INDEED GRATEFUL!
Thanks, Jojo. That all means a lot to me. And on a day when I’m feeling pretty blech, it’s an even nicer read. 🙂