Thursday, 27 March 2014

From the Depths...


On Sunday, after the sporadic showers on the previous day, Shaun and I decided that our plan to revisit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park was probably a bad one. Therefore, Shaun suggested a trip to the National Media Museum in Bradford. He'd visited some years ago with Scouts and believed it would be something I'd enjoy. As is usually the case, he was right. It was a fantastic day: learning about the history of photography, television and the internet; watching strange video footage of acrobatic flies and Black Country delicacies; and taking in the Magnum Open for Business exhibition -  "the story of contemporary British manufacturing and industry told through the lens of 9 Magnum photographers." Here I found myself drawn to a trio of black and white photographs by Stuart Franklin. One, a photograph of a wave machine inspired me to write a poem and, although only an early draft, I thought I'd share it.          


Sea Monster

This mechanical whale does not harness
the energy of the waves.
Instead it rises in the storm's swell,
churns and foams the waters further.
These ribs aren't wooden groynes,
and this wall of tissue provides no armour.
For all worries form a cloud of plankton -
dredged into the bowels of an unforgiving beast.


Thank you for reading,
Lara
Reactions:

5 comments:

Colin Davies said...

"dredged into the bowels of an unforgiving beast."

This could also be a line about the music, film and tv industry.

Love the post

Christo said...

I like this very much , Lara - I have yet to visit the museum, but the Head at the small school in St Annes I taught at in 1991 to 1997 used to take a party of pupils each year as she had a very high opinion of it.

I also like ekphrastic poems very much - as you will see I post a lot of painting, sculpture and vivid photos on my Fb page, sometimes turning them into poems of my own. Yours proves that you are a word-alchemist.

vicky ellis said...

Groynes. Wow. That's a new one on me.

The poem's got an unsettling quality to it. I think it's combination of groynes (groins), ribs and bowels coupled with churning and dredging. It makes me a little sea sick to think about it.

The photograph is amazing - looks just like a whale!

So happy you're feeling inspired :)

Adele said...


Welcome back from the depths ...of my heart. "I didn't know you could speak whale".

Lara Clayton said...

Christo,
I also really love ekphrastic poetry - and thank you for your kind comments, a 'word-alchemist' is a beautiful phrase.

Vicky,
You can thank A-level geography for my remembering of the word 'groynes'. We went on an amazing field trip to the Norfolk coast, explored the coastline and examined the different types of sea defences that were being used. Groynes and rip-rap were the two that always stuck in my mind.