Saturday, January 10, 2009

TY Image Module

Today we start the second round of our modules in our Transition Year Course. There are four of these, and they give a chance for pupils to experience a topic for a week taught by a different teacher. This year, they are: Geoffrey Chaucer and the history of the English language; W.B. Yeats; a film module; and a new module taught by Ms Smith on 'Poetry and the Image', which she describes in this post:-

This Transition Year module aims to explore the link between poetry and painting. Since as far back as we can trace there has been a lively dialogue between the two art forms. Anyone who has read poetry will know that the creation of vivid images in the mind’s eye is one of the wonderful effects of this activity. Many famous painters have gone one step further and realised their interpretation of a poem on canvas. As well as going from word to image we look at the reverse. When one looks at a painting (a somewhat restricted, framed world) most are compelled to flesh out the story; what could be going on here? Who is this dark figure on the left? Why do these bright yellow sunflowers seem sinister? Writers are often drawn to translate the image back into words in their purest form; poetry.

At the end of the module students compose a poem of their own inspired by an image that fascinates them. Some forms of poetry suit particular images very well, capturing the essence of the painting. For instance, Igor Verkhovskiy has written a villanelle, an almost cyclical form of poetry based on rhyme and repetition. He was inspired by Pieter Bruegel’s 1563 painting of the spiralling tower of Babel.

(This poem can be read in today's other post here).

The images used in the course can be accessed by clicking on the links in the following list, followed by the relevant poems:-

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