Child on Porch
Taken by Eudora Welty in the mid 1930's when she was working as a photographer for the Works Projects Administration in her home state of Mississippi.
Eudora Welty would be 100 years old today and wrote the poem, I Look at a Photograph, but I have been unable to read it.... yet.*
She wrote most of her poems as a young girl, the first being published in St Nicholas, a children's magazine, in 1920, at age 11. This one appears to be available in a current children's magazine, Cicada, a Cricket magazine group, the March/April 2005 issue.
While Welty is better known for her prose and photography, she did write a number of poems; and I would like to peruse a few. If you (or your library) has access to Cicada, I would appreciate receiving a photocopy of the poem.
But first, click over to my Xanga page and read my review of the acclaimed musical fable, The Shoe Bird, a delightful symphonic story, based on Welty's novella of the same title, published in 1964. I've listened to it several times over the weekend.
In the meantime, I will leave you with a short paragraph about photography from her memoir, One Writer's Beginnings.
The camera was a hand-held auxiliary of wanting-to-know.
It had more than information and accuracy to teach me. I learned in the doing how ready I had to be. Life doesnt hold still. A good snapshot stopped a moment from running away. Photography taught me that to be able to capture transience, by being ready to click the shutter at the crucial moment, was the greatest need I had. Making pictures of people in all sorts of situations, I earned that every feeling waits upon its gesture; and I had to be prepared to recognize this moment when I saw it.
These were things a story writer needed to know. And I felt the need to hold transient life in words -- there's so much more of life that only words can convey --strongly enough to last me as long as I lived.
In your family, who is the photographer, who is the story writer/teller?
Who writes poetry?
*Much later I received a copy of this poem from the library reference desk. In fact, it is NOT written by Miss Welty, but someone who was inspired by viewing her photograph.