One of the flashes of understanding that’s been dawning on me is Imagism. I said as much, yesterday when I left a comment about one of my pictures in the Visual Journalling course I’m doing: If there's a relationship between my words and pictures I have discovered that Imagism expresses it well.
Imagists "believed that poetry should employ the language of common speech, create new rhythms, have complete freedom in subject matter, and present a clear, concentrated, and precise image. Their three tenets were:
1) Direct treatment of the “thing," whether subjective or objective.
2) To use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.
3) As regarding rhythm: to compose in sequence of the musical phrase, not in sequence of the metronome.
To my mind this applies as much to my photographs as it does to my poetry, because I make both.
So my task (should I choose to accept it!) is to make photographs and poems that are concerned with the essence of a thing. A tall order, by any stretch of the imagination. But just as I have learned to be careful to ensure that all the images I make have a focus (tell a story) this must apply as much to writing. An essayist would call this making an argument…
When I look through the viewfinder I am concerned to remove all distracting and excess detail; the same must apply to my poetry, as well.