Poetry in photography


When photography is the best way to write a sincere poem.

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Paris, France - Cours Damoye, l'instant critique
Paris, France – Cours Damoye, l’instant critique

Though I guess I’m more talented as a landscape photographer, I love trying to stray a bit off the beaten paths and find other subjects to photograph. A lonely leaf hanging from a branch  of a lonely tree. A drop of water slowly leaking from the edge of a water tap. A small sprout finding its way through the paving stones of a cobbled street.

I guess this is a way for me to keep a bit of poetry in my life, without making it too suffocating as it used to be.

Indeed, when I was younger, I would often write some poetry. It was pretty much about the women I used to love, I must confess, and when I remember the verses I wrote, or worse, when I actually find some of them hidden in an old notebook, I flush with shame. Though they were all sincere, they were also much more awkward than I used to think.

I’ve written poetry for every woman I’ve loved. Most of the time, the poems were pretty sad, since I would only write poetry after break-ups.  Only with my  latest girlfriend did I learn to write more joyful and playful poetry. She was as enthusiastic as me about exchanging some teasing verses, and I liked writing poems to her that were not overflowed with boring melancholy and uneasiness. Though they didn’t have much artistic value, they were pretty sincere, and I still smile when I come to think of them.

In my opinion, this person had a true poetic mind, and I learned a lot from her. Besides learning to write more cheerful poetry, she also taught me to have a more careful eye for what’s surrounding me. Of course, I already had that careful eye before. I would be a liar to write otherwise. But when I could just get some good pictures thanks to it, she had a true gift for it : her way of doing photography was truly poetic.

Though I’m no longer with her, I try to keep following the lessons I learned from her. I taught her to hold a camera properly, she taught me to see poetry in every leaf, every crawling living being, every water drop, every insignificant sprout… She made me stop writing bad sad poetry to see what’s truly poetic in my day-to-day life. And when I miss her too much, I try to focus on what I learned, until all that comes to my mind is a loud “Thank you”.