Choose a poem that resonates with you then interpret it through photographs. Don’t attempt to describe the poem but instead give a sense of the feeling of the poem and the essence it exudes. (OCA C&N p2)
I’ve chosen the poem, Spellbound, by Emily Brontë, who lived across the moors from my home. It’s turned into a hard 2015 winter for many in Yorkshire, so the weather and winter darkness are looming large in my mind at this time.
Poem and photo
The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow;
The storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.
Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.
In the poem I feel a sense of obligation to ‘go out’ before the weather completely closes in. The obligation could be anything – to meet with a friend, to fetch coal for a fire. The sense of obligation turns in to a decision not to go out, ‘I will not, cannot go’. There is almost an oppressive feeling of uninviting winter weather in the poem – wild, cold, bending, bare, waste, drear. Not something to be out in. I think the essence of the poem is a sense of foreboding at the impending storm.
I shot a series of photos during a walk on Cowling Pinnacle, North Yorkshire. The camera used was a Fuji X-T1 and the lens used was a Fujinon 10-24 f/4. Images were processed in Lightroom, mostly in black and white to avoid any sense of cheer added by colour.
Contact sheets are inserted below (click image to view as gallery). My final select (image 6 sheet 2), used intentional camera movement to blur the sky and foreground. For me, this image creates a sense of darkness and foreboding that best fits with the atmosphere of the poem. I felt a single image better echoed the simplicity of the poem and did not overwhelm the text in this space.
Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950)