It’s been a little while since I posted some poetry that I found out in the wild! This one was spotted at an exhibit on the history of photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. It took a little digging to identify the author and origin of the verse – this particular display was on the camera lucida, an early projection device for artists, and did not provide information on the quatrain. Miss Eliza Savage was the long time pen pal and “beta reader” for the Victorian era author Samuel Butler (1835 – 1902). His literary legacy has all but waned but his work was cited as an influence by Aldous Huxley, E.M. Forster, and George Bernard Shaw. Miss Savage wrote this “poem” in a letter to Mr. Butler, although a biography of Mr. Butler reversed the order of the lines. Photograph by me.
A couple of poetry links to round out this evening:
- For a wonderful fully illustrated version of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot (which is one of my favorite poems) – head over to Julian Peters Comics at this link here. Then linger a bit on his site to see a number of the classics beautifully illustrated.
- I’m now using three different poetry generator websites to make random poems – basically algorithms that generate random poems from either user supplied text or a standard set of words. If you put the “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” into the Interactive Haiku Generator (link below) you can get haiku like this:
Sudden spreads the overwhelming
We and it’s us
On a night so tedious.
I have found these random poems to be both a great source of inspiration, a way to “unstick” from writing dry spells, as well as good Surrealist poems in their own right.
Here are the three sites – but fair warning, they are very addictive! Enjoy!