Art and Poetry

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone has had a really fab week. I know we have just been super busy, constantly on the go, and barely taking the time to have “husband and wife time” aka time to play to video games or watch a film together. We, of course, have time together during the week, but having that only time together during the weekend is quite important to us. Thankfully, we have no plans for the upcoming weekend and will be able to have some good old fashion togetherness. What is your favourite way to spend your free time? I know I like to play video games and write a little poetry when I have proper free time.

Speaking of poetry (see what I did there? lol)… as mentioned in my Thursday newsletter, this week’s blog post is all about poetry. How poetry effects art, how art affects poetry, and how poetry can be art.


Poetry and Me

I remember the first poem I ever wrote. I was in the 4th grade, so about eight years old. The poem was about horses (because that is every little girl’s’ obsession) and it was truly appalling. I didn’t really start writing poetry seriously until I was in high school. When I was desperate for all form of creative outlets. I was enamoured with series of novels by Ellen Hopkins, all of which were written in verse. My imagination would take her words and create abstract drawings or ideas for paintings. It was during my time in university when I truly met the poet inside me. I would write poems to go with my art, I would make art from poems or songs I loved, I would even make poem art.


A simple example of Blackout Poetry- I did this the spring of 2015

It was during this time that I discovered Blackout Poetry, a transformative use of repurposed words that can be taken from old books or newspapers. All you need to be successful is a creative mind and a marker. Blackout Poetry is a great way to ease into poetry if you’ve never tried before. You can be as creative or as analytical about the works as you want. The words already there for you, so just pick out the ones you want.

Creating Images from Words

One of my favourite forms of poetry is Slam Poetry, the kind that when you listen to it you get covered in goosebumps and your mind starts to race with thought of things to draw or paint. It could be a phrase, it could be a theme, it could even be the energy the poet gives off when they are speaking. Slam Poetry has such a strong rhythm, that when the words are spoken, my brain turns off and my brush takes over. The painterliness of the work created adds an extra layer of depth within the work when I am finished with a piece like this.

Fire by Ashley Brinkman -- 18x24in Prisma on Paper --

“Sometimes I feel forest fires erupting from my wrist.” Mary Lambert (aka Queen)

Along with the flow of Slam Poetry, songs (Lyrical Poetry) can easily be interpreted into works of art. It is such an “easy” project that I was even given it as an assignment for a drawing project in university. The point of the project was to ease the class into abstract drawing, so we had to pick a favourite song of ours and something about the song. This kind of project is excellent because there will never be two drawings that are the same, but there will be a consistent theme throughout the class or even a series of work! (If you are interested in making a series of music inspired art, but don’t nowhere to start, check out my posts on Planning an Art Series!)

Paintings that Inspired Poems

Conversely from making art from poetry, art has been inspiring poetry for centuries! This act, known as ekphrasis, is essentially a vivid, dramatic verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined. These works of art can be literal, abstract, nonrepresentational. The poems could be about the emotion in the art, or about the something figurative in the piece.

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“They send me to eat in the Kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,

And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table.”

– ‘I am the darker brother,’ Langston Hughes




One of my favourite examples of this is Langston Hughes’s poem about a self portrait done by Winold Reiss, who was known for his portraits. The poem is powerful and optimistic. I also enjoy just how personal and yet universal it is. You don’t have to know whether the poem is about Hughes himself or about racial tensions of the time or both.

Do you know another poem created from art? Have you tried writing a poem about your favourite piece of art?  

Poetry is Art

Finally, you can use the words of a poem to create art. Both artist and poets have been doing this for a while. I am not completely into this concept, but it definitely works for some ideas. You can do this with Blackout Poetry or with regular poetry (words forming shapes and such), but in my opinion a poem doesn’t need extra ness. 

In conclusion (that sounds totally lame, like what term paper am I trying to write?), I think poetry is art, just like music is art, just like story telling is art, just like painting is art. Poetry can be a powerful form of expression that helps you connect with your feelings to words to art (or art to words depending on how you create).


There are so many projects or works that can be created from poems or art, so go out and create. Find some amazing Slam Poetry and get drawing, or look up your favourite painting and write a short poem. Expressing yourself in a new way is not only great for your creative process, but you could be discover something you absolutely love.

If you have a favourite poem share it in the comments.

Would you like to see me do a live Q&A on Instagram? Let me know!

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