Tag Archives: Photography

Terrible Tales for Curious Kids: 1

A few years ago I started to collect curious, and often extremely weird, photographs. Many are quite disturbing and lead you to speculate about the story behind them. Later I began to write short verses to go with these oddities.

A few days ago I read Ransom Riggs’ excellent book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, itself inspired by and illustrated with similar vintage found snapshots. That stirred me to go back to these photographs and my stories in verse. Perhaps I’ll post a few here….

arthur-batley

No Bacon Saved for Arthur Batley

Arthur Batley thought it neat
To dress himself in sides of meat.
Until one day he ventured out
With ne’er a second thought or doubt.

His wife said, “Arthur, don’t be late,
Supper time is half-past eight.”
At nine a knock came at the door,
“Open please, this is the law.”

A policeman there with visage grave
Said, “Arthur’s gone too far to save.”
He handed her a battered hat…
“The rest’s been eaten by a cat.”

“Oh dear, that’s sad,” said Mrs B,
“Won’t you have a cup of tea?”
She wiped away a sudden tear,
“Or perhaps you’d like a glass of beer?”

“I poured it out at half-past eight,
And Arthur’s meal’s still on the plate;
You have it, he won’t be wanting that
After being eaten by a cat.”

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Filed under Photographs, Poems

When Words Become Unclear

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” — Susan Sontag

“The similarity between Van Gogh, Haiku poetry, and good photography is the concern for mortality. That things are very fleeting, that there are people who are more sensitive to death than others. The threat of time is of great concern to them. And the camera is a very appropriate instrument for many.” — Dennis Stock

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” — Walker Evans

“The pictures are there, and you just take them.” — Robert Capa

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” — Diane Arbus

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March 21, 2014 · 4:26 pm