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Snapshot Poetry

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Dayna Nielsen

on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of Snapshot Poetry

Snapshot Poetry
What is a snapshot poem?
In many ways, a photograph is like a poem; through the use of detail, it captures an image that transmits a feeling or idea to readers. A snapshot poem takes advantage of this quality by recreating the emotional core of a photograph. Even if readers haven't seen the picture, they should still be able to visualize it and understand its importance. You can write a snapshot poem by choosing and observing an interesting photograph, using imagery and tone and considering the image's significance.
Writing Process for Snapshot Poem
Choose a photograph:

Any picture can provide inspiration for your poem. Often, poets use family photos as the basis for their work. You can go through photo albums and find a picture that's important to your family. You can also search for interesting photos on the Internet, in magazines or antique stores. Pictures that seem to have stories behind them will give you more material. If you're interested in writing about nature, you can look for landscape photos with rich details.
Practice Writing a Snapshot Poem
Your assignment will be to create a snapshot poem of your own, but before you do so, we are going to practice this together.
How are poems and photos alike?
Observation & Free Write
Observation: Once you've picked a photograph, observe the image for 90 seconds to help you emotionally connect with the scene.

Free Write: When the time is up, you can free write about what you noticed and brainstorm ideas. For example, if you choose a family photo that you remember, you might write about how your recollections differ from the picture. For other photos, you can think about what details stand out or what emotion seems prominent. You can also note prominent visuals, such as facial expressions, backgrounds and colors.
Imagery & Tone
Because readers should be able to visualize the photograph, your poem needs clear imagery. Imagery is any description that evokes the senses, such as sound, sight, taste or smell. As you look at the photograph, think about what sensory details might be important to create a vivid description of the scene.

Since you also want to evoke the feeling associated with the picture (tone), the way you show your emotional attitude is also important. When you read over your first draft, think of how you might use precise word choice to effectively bring your emotions and thoughts to life.
The Significance of Your Photo
Considering the overall significance of the photograph will help give you ideas of what to write about in your poem. If you're writing about a personal photograph, you can discuss its significance directly. For example, if it's one of the last pictures taken of a loved one before his death, you might disclose that information to readers somewhere in your poem.

If you've chosen a photo of someone else, you can still consider who the people in it might be and what the photograph could mean to them. You can also use your imagination to try to interpret a possible situation occurring in the photo.

If you've chosen a landscape photo, you can create significance through the scenery depicted by including an abundance of sensory details and figurative language.

After considering the significance, you can refine your imagery and language to create unity with this importance.
Discuss with Partner
With partner, discuss impressions and freewrite. Add items to the list that did not occur to you the first time or that you think about during the partner discussion.
(2-3 minutes)
Class Free Write
Share some of the words, phrases, and first impressions you wrote down during your free write.

when I watch you
wrapped up like garbage
sitting, surrounded by the smell
of too old potato peels
when I watch you
in your old man's shoes
with the little toe cut out
sitting, waiting for your mind
like next week's grocery
I say
when I watch you
you wet brown bag of a woman
who used to be the best looking gal in Georgia
used to be called the Georgia Rose
I stand up
through your destruction
Adding Poetry Devices
Working alone once more, use items from your free write or the class free write to:
a. Create comparisons (Similes and Metaphors)
b. Join words that begin with the same letter (Alliteration)
c. Add descriptions with color or sound (Imagery and Onomatopoeia)
d. Join any words that might rhyme (Rhyme)
e. Give action to people, objects, or items in poem (Personification)
f. Create contradictions (Oxymoron)
g. Create exaggerations (Hyperbole)
h. Repeat words to create meaning (Repetition)
i. add commonly understood phrases (idiom)

Create Draft

Move the words, phrases or sentences into a logical order forming the basic poem.

Add details or alter words or phrases to tweak the poem to refine its message or imagery.
Create Your Own Snapshot Poem
Bring in a photograph to write about. This can be a family photo, a photo of you and your friends, a landscape, a photo off of the Internet, etc. It's up to you! You will use the photo to begin the writing process in class on Monday.
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