What do you call a poem without words? A picture poem.


I considered putting words on the page but decided the absence said enough. To be honest, I am confident that I could read this poem aloud if I was forced to. Certainly, I could speak to why I believe in it.

Here are some explanations for this piece.

  1. This was actually the true beginning of this project.
  2. I do collages with my sons. Why do you do that, Jenniey? Thanks for asking. Deborah Keenan is the easiest answer.I am literally floored that I have been her writing student, let alone been able to participate in her annual Collage Day offering at Hamline University. However, a meager 3 hours of uninterrupted collaging with an exceptionally talented group of writers & artists at the CWP house is nowhere near enough. The clippings have spread to my kitchen table.Last year, I was trying to take my oldest son to Collage Day through a multifaceted attack involving bribery, coercion, small threats, and a dash of motherly guilt. Apparently, I am no good at any of these things. When I returned home, I filled the table with magazines and told my sons to sit with me and collage, promising they never had to do it again if they did not enjoy it. They sat. They liked it. We do it a lot now. Thanks Deb.
  3. This image looks like light-displacement.
  4. The command, build your own boat, followed by a confusing image is exactly the tone I’m aiming for. In life and poetry.
  5. There is more but I’ll leave it at that. Brevity is a good technique, in general. Probably best to say less than more.

As a prompt, I challenge you to self-edit to this extreme. Create or find an image that you think says enough and then give it a title. Or find a title which serves as a poem and give it an image.