(I use August to step back from much of my blogging and social media. This year, I am experimenting, setting in motion something in advance. I don’t know that you will stay with me long enough to get it. If you do, thank you. — Kevin)
This is the third version of a poem I wrote for Write Out, using found sounds from the National Park Service sound site. The first version was a text poem, with links to sounds. The second version was a podcast, with my voice layered with the sounds. This final version is a digital poem, with image and sound and voice.
What I have been trying to get at is how to best incorporate sound with a poem. While this version is the most visually pleasing, I admit that I sort of like the podcast — the version of just voice and sound — the best, for it forces you to imagine the animals and scenery. Here, I show you the image from the sound files.
Which version do you like?
Peace (in poems),
The other day, I use some found sounds from the National Park Service website to inspire a poem I called “Hiking the Wild Mind.”
But I didn’t feel satisfied with it in that version. It was text with links to the sounds. What I wanted to do was have the poems and the sounds together, as a podcast.
I’ll be doing one more variation of the poem in the next day or two.
Peace (sounding out),
For our Write Out project, Ranger Cris Constantine of the NPS Northeast Regional Office shared out a wonderful page of park resources for teachers, which included a link from the Park Service of collected sounds from various park sites. I soon found myself immersed in the audio. I decided a day of approaching rain was a good day for an imaginary hike in the form of a poem, with embedded audio clips after each stanza. The source link for each audio file is down below. — Kevin
Hiking the Wild Mind
This morning, we heard
the rain fall
after many days
on a journey
Hike the hills
Sneak behind the rock
of the mountain top
to watch nature
play its terrible games
of BigHornRam collision.
In the distance,
the pack always hunts,
calls, careens into the bush:
coyotes on the prowl.
another world of
what is it that
flies above you
below the stars?
Again, by day,
the unknown unfurls its wings
sings a song of
the wild edges,
places you have yet
And there, beneath your feet,
where the rains have loosened
the earth, where the moisture
has woken up
the sleepy-eyed creatures of the season,
you startle that which startles you
So settle down,
stake a tent,
claim some ground:
listen until the morning
arrives, and wonder if the sun
still follows the stars
Gather up your world
and head back
Peace (in the sounds),
PS — Sources via National Park Service Natural Sound Project:
First, I captured my walk in sound and video.
And then, I stopped in another spot and composed a poem on the fly (no paper) as I put my audio recorder app right near the bubbling stream, so that the water became both the inspiration and the soundtrack.
What are you working on?
Peace (in the listening world),
A friendly email arrived, with a request. Might I be willing to write a poem?
A musical collaborator, Luka, was working on another project and he was looking for a poem that could become part of the cover of the CD project. He sent along a few tracks, asked me to listen, and get inspired. (Luka and I wrote and recorded Alchemist Dream for A Whale’s Lantern music project, a remote collaboration taking place off the Mastodon social network. We’re now into the third iteration of the music-making partnerships.)
Oh, and there was a fast turn-around deadline. I’d have to get the poem out the door within just a few days. The theme of the project was Entropy, and so as I put on headphones and listened to the tracks that Luka provided (interesting stuff, as always from him), I read up on Entropy, trying to wrap my head around the concept and how it might translate into poetry, and music.
Then, I wrote … just letting the words flow as I listened to the beats and musical landscape of the tracks. It was one of those times when I only thought about what I was writing later, in revision. First, I let the music guide me into discovering the possibilities of a poem.
Fast forward a few months, and I saw Luka promoting the CD, with a limited series artistic cover available, so I ordered it, and the resulting project (airmailed from Luka from Slovenia, with a very kind note from him) is just beautiful. My poem is splayed out in the center, but the way the cover folds in and around itself, and the use of art to explore music (and vice versa), and … well … the whole dang thing is just pretty cool to have in my hands.
I’m glad I had some words to contribute. (And Luka, in return, has lent me some of his original music to use in a video project I am working on for a summer learning experience.)
Peace (across the world),
I am always drawn in by my friend, Simon, and his blog posts. They are rich with imagery, and emotion, and wondering, and although sometimes I have trouble following where he is going (and yet, I seem to find myself right where he led me), I keep going forward. I float in his language.
This morning, he shared a poem at his blog and as I read it, I saw another poem emerging from beneath his poetry. It seemed like I just needed to create a digital poem for him, if only to reflect his words back to him as a reader honors the poet.
So, I did.
Thank you, Simon.
Peace (in the poem),
PS — this was made in Lumen5.
poets and dogs
the damndest things:
of what we’ve
chewed on endlessly
through the night.
on us the decisions
and then regretted.
hold out hope
for where the path
might lead us,
into the unknown
Another version: https://notegraphy.com/dogtrax/note/3512461
As we often talk about extending notes and comments beyond the original source, I took a few of his words (of dogs and poets) and riffed a poem off the top of it. And then I shared it in Mastodon, where I often write #smallpoems with CLMOOC friends Terry, Algot and others.
So, from here to there, and there, to here, and then there again.
Peace (in the poem),
I wasn’t sure if other people would follow me up on my invitation. But I knew I wanted to annotate with Hypothesis the opening article in the NCTE journal — Voices from the Middle — about the future of digital writing, by Troy Hicks. Then, I saw a tweet from a friend, Gail, commenting on the article, too, and I knew I had to go ahead and start up a crowd annotation project. I wasn’t the only one wanting to engage with the text.
So, I sent the link out a few times over the weekend, and got some folks to engage with me (including Troy, and I can’t say enough how important it is to a reader to the have writer engaged in the margins in a conversation about the text they wrote.) By midweek, there were nearly 40 annotations — a mix of words, image, sound and video.
You see, this was not just about reading about Digital Writing. It was also an act of using Digital Writing to make sense of the piece about Digital Writing. Sure, a bit recursive, but an important insight. We can talk and write in text all we want about what writing should be. But when the opportunity comes to write with media, to write in the margins of an online text, you need to take the invitation forward.
A few days in to the annotation activity, Terry asked this important question to me and others on Twitter:
I am enjoying the conversation. Intrinsically valuable. Have to ask the question implicit in every annotation mob? Of what use is the conversation going forward and beyond an intrinsic one? Is intrinsic value enough? What could be curated and shared out beyond mere response? — https://twitter.com/telliowkuwp/status/1003632172698361856
I think curation/context of the margins should be next … It would be neat to have different people reflect/curate. I know that is prob unlikely. Still, surfacing ideas is important part of the process. Orphaned comments seem contrary to activity. — https://twitter.com/dogtrax/status/1003745466708832257
So, here I am, aiming to pull out some of the many threads from the conversation in the margins in a way that helps me make sense of it all, and maybe gain some reflective insights. If you do the same, please share your link. We can then be linked together.
Some distinct themes emerged from within the margins of Troy’s text. Here is my sense of the topics that resonated most clearly:
The beauty of Hypothesis is that the annotation doesn’t have to end now. It can restart anytime you arrive and make a comment. So, whether today is today (my time) or a year from now (your time), please do come in and add some thoughts. Reflect. Connect. Write about writing.
See you in the margins.
Peace (upon reflection),