Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Best Poet Portraits

****I love this photo of Albert Goldbarth because it hints as what a lot folks don't realize-- he still types his letters, poems, etc. on a typewriter. He is not electronically connected to anything, no email, nada. I think this portrait captures his softness which many overlook in him.

Randall Jarrell - I love both of these photos because they captured his spirit and his passion for cars. I just look at them and feel happy.

Denise Levertov-- What a beautiful person, inside & out. I think this portrait captures her peacefulness.

William Carlos Williams-- This photo gives me a nostalgia for my own father and I love his expression. This photo is very endearing.

Anne Sexton - The master of the pose. She was a model and incredibly beautiful, so she was to photograph. Someone who reads this blog suggested to me a book of all her last photographs which I purchased. It is seriously difficult to take a bad photo of her. But what I love about this photo is that it captures a time. Cigarette pants, typewriter, cigarette. She was always able to pull things off that others couldn't. I can't imagine how ridiculous I would look posed like this, but her, it looks natural and iconic.

Edna St. Vincent Millay-- When my friend was taking my photo for my first book, I showed her this photo and said I wanted something like this. She came up with this. Which surprisingly, was the first photo I've actually liked of myself. I still like this photo, though as I age, I'm getting farther and farther away from looking like that.

But I think Edna, who could also pose naturally with her hand on her cheek (as could Jane Kenyon) without looking posed, really captures in this photo what I think of poetry-- a poet and the world around them connecting. She becomes the poem in this photo. She is magnolia and woman, background and twig.

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  1. Oh, wow! This is very inspiring. I always liked to read writers' biographies, just to get an idea of who they really are and now I realize that a photo like the ones you show here can do just that.

    They do look natural, like they belong in their space and the space belongs to them.

    I especially love the Edna St. Vincent Millay photo and how indeed, it doesn't look posed when it almost feels like it should.

    I know what you mean know about good photos.

    And oh yeah, I'll definitely hang around here very often.

  2. What a nice post. Lovely to see all those faces. I have a photo book of poets that I had to take out once I saw your comments.

    Love the Anne Sexton photo. One of my long-term projects is to write a screenplay about her.

  3. Kelli:

    I have a book tiled Anne Sexton - The Last Summer. It's a collection of Arthur Furst photos he took of her at various visits during that last summer of her life. It's a wonderfully illuminating book of my new Dead Poet Mentor. ;)

  4. I've seen several of these photos elsewhere before, the ones of Millay, Levertov, and Sexton. I like the photos.

    Something I noticed, that struck me about the photo of Anne Sexton, that I hadn't noticed when I've seen the image before, is how long her hands are.

  5. loved seeing these :)
    i had only seen the sexton one but i love the edna st vincent millay one and your photo that it inspired :)

  6. Glad you all enjoyed these. It felt good choosing these photos of poets and sharing them. I'm glad you got something from them too.


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