Filed under: catalyst
As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us.
Ok! Here’s catalyst number forty-six:
What’s your favorite poem? Why?
We’re so delighted to have Ranjini Malhotra as this week’s Guest Artist.
I first saw Ranjini’s beautiful art when I was researching kit clubs and landed on scrapologie’s web site. I immediately fell in love with her art and I’ve been asking her to guest design for us for over six months, I am so thankful we finally get to have her on.
Ranjini’s art is always full of detail and, to me, very lyrical and poetic (so it’s fitting that she chose this catalyst). I love seeing every little thing she puts in her pieces and how she manages to put embellishments I would never think of together in a way where they look like they always belonged together. She is a designer for Jenni Bowlin Studio, Melissa Frances and Tweety Jill. She describes herself as: “fairy godmother, magical glitter dust keeper, story teller, dreamer, and artist.”
Here is Ranjini’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version.
I love poetry. I have loved words from the time I was very young – I learned to read early on and devoured books. I remember though being profoundly affected by poetry; Shakespeare, Tennyson, Dickinson, Frost and a host of other poets enchanted me with their works. I was charmed by beautiful words strung together in precisely the right fashion so as to evoke emotion and challenge the intellect. I have loved many poems throughout my life and even keep a notebook of my favorites, however the one that has moved me more than any other poem is one by William Butler Yeats, titled “When You Are Old”. The poem inspired me to create this work that is centered around Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the movie “Roamn Holiday”. In the movie, Audrey plays Princess Ann, a princess of an unnamed country. She is on a European tour but longs to escape the strenuous and tiresome duties of being a royal in the public eye. She decides to leave her country’s embassy to explore Rome for herself. In the course of her adventure, she cuts her hair short, meets Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), an American reporter, and finds herself. Unexpectedly, she falls in love with Joe, and he with her. Eventually she acknowledges that she must return to her royal duties and he bids her adieu. He sees her again at a Press Corps meet and greet with the Princess. During the meeting, he hands her an envelope of photos that could have ruined her dignified reputation. She expresses her love and gratitude in a hidden message to him. In the end, he walks away, wondering what may have been between them. I particularly love this movie, and everytime I read William Butler Yeats’ “When You Are Old”, I think of this movie. It is essentially a poem of unrequited love, and Yeats reminds his love that “one man loved the pilgrim soul in you”.
When You are Old, by William Butler Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
The poem gives me chills when I read it, and I liken it to Joe’s character and to Princess Ann – who will never forget their love.
The poem inspired my project, titled “amore”. I created this piece by gutting out an old vintage book. I then printed a photo of Audrey Hepburn for the cover, on canvas paper. I trimmed it down to size and then applied glue and clear glitter to her bodice and hair ribbon. I added a small clear gemstone to her ring for a bit of three-dimensional bling. I used Seven Gypsies gaffer tape down the spine and sewed on a few vintage paste and rhinestone buttons. I added the words amore (Making Memories stickers) to the bottom right corner and glued the image to the cover. I added crimson seam binding (crushed by wetting and crumpling it and allowing to dry). On the inside of the book – I added a photo of Ann and Joe from Roman Holiday, the poem printed on cardstock on the facing page, and some small embellishments on either page. I took an approach of less being more as the poem and the photo speak for themselves.
Printing on canvas. I used plain Office Max brand premium coated canvas, but there are better canvas papers out there if you want extra high quality. I did adjust Audrey’s image in photoshop by applying some artistic filters. I loved the dimensional and glittery look that the addition of glitter and bling added to the piece. I set my printer on a glossy paper setting when I printed the piece.
Thank you so much Ranjini; we’re so very honored.
Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.
When I follow the Lord, he always walks always with me, and during the most trying periods of my life, He carry me. That’s what I believe, and it’s my strength for every day! So here’s my poem:
“One night I dreamed I was walking
Along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints.
Other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed that
During the low periods of my life when I was
Suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints,
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me,
Lord, that if I followed You,
You would walk with me always.
But I noticed that during the most trying periods
Of my life there have only been
One set of prints in the sand.
Why, When I have needed You most,
You have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints
Is when I carried you.”
By Mary Stevenson
If I had been asked this question years ago, I think I would have ended up with a Robert Frost poem as for the longest time, he was my favorite poet. I have always loved “Nothing Gold Can Stay” and used to write it in my diaries. But that was all before I was introduced to William Carlos Williams. As soon as I read this poem, I fell completely in love. I can’t even tell you why. I think it’s because it’s so ordinary, so simple. Such a beautiful representation of something that’s a part of regular, married, loving life.
this is just to say
i have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold.
Asking an English major who focused on poetry what her favorite poem is must be like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite. I struggled with this catalyst. There are so many great female poets out there, contemporary ones, whom I love and respect – Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood… just to name a few. Not to mention all the women and men who provided the foundation of my education in poetry – far too many to list. I thought back to the one poem that continues with me today and regularly reminds me to stand tall, to look at myself proudly and see myself as beautiful when I look in the mirror each day. I chose Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman”, which I have seen her perform with such great gesturing as to make it completely take on new meaning for me each time.
The poem I chose to share for this catalyst is actually a prayer: The Serenity Prayer. I understand that it’s a well-known prayer that has brought comfort to many people seeking peace and direction in their lives. When I was younger, I remember reading it myself many times and thinking what an encouraging poem it was, but I never really sought to understand its meaning any deeper than that.
However, during a season when I began to seek a deeper relationship with God, I remember struggling with many very unattractive things in my character that God was revealing to me. He wanted me to see them so that I could choose to deal with them one at a time. This was one of the most challenging seasons in my life! I truly wanted to do His will, but I still had to learn how to surrender to it. I came to a point in my life when I felt that if I wasn’t taking control of what should be done, things wouldn’t turn out the way I wanted.By His grace, God revealed to me at that point the source of my struggles…I was so focused on what I wanted and how I wanted things to be that there was no room for God to have His way in my life.
As I was seeking and praying for wisdom and direction in this situation, I happened to be reading a devotional that had a revised version of the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity that comes from knowing You are in control.
Courage to follow You no matter how difficult the way.
Wisdom to seek Your heart instead of depending on my own.
After reading this, I realized why I was struggling and what I needed to do to change. I immediately copied it into my journal, hoping to keep it in mind whenever I struggled. It reminded me to Whom I needed to surrender my desires, my will, and my ways. It gave me hope in knowing that even if things didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I could trust and wait upon God to show me His way (which always resulted in something better and beyond my hopes and desires!). It helped me realize that I couldn’t control everything and to seek wisdom from Him rather than relying on myself.
I still struggle in different areas. However, I now know the right place to put my trust: with Him rather than myself. This revised prayer directed me back to the truth of God’s Word:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”
~ Proverbs 3:5,6 (KJV)
It put me back on the path of following Christ with the right motive, and as a result, I began to experience what true peace really was in my life, a peace that came from Him:
“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”
~ Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
This revised Serenity Prayer marked a point in my life when I began to choose to put my life in His hands and accept all that He desired for me rather than pursuing what I wanted for myself. I thought I was going to lose the person I knew myself to be, but in surrendering myself to Him, I actually found a life filled with the abundance of grace from God that He wanted me to have. This verse became true in my life and experience:
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
~ Matthew 16:24-26
For that I will remain truly grateful and thankful to the Lord for the lessons I learned through this prayer, and it will always be a significant part of my life.
This poem has always caught my attention. I am a strong believer in hope and I believe that hope is there for us at all times, that it never stops coming to us, even in the worst of situations. There is always hope.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
I love the ‘How Do I Love Thee?’ poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I’m not completely sure why. I remember in Jr. High taking a calligraphy class. We had to choose something to write and I chose this poem. It’s so beautiful, rolls off the tongue. As you read the words you can see her clutching his letters in her hands, writing with a feather pen and inkwell, telling him how much he means to her. You can feel her love for him, it’s complete, it’s whole, it’s unconditional. I like to think it represents my love for my husband and my daughters. I don’t think I could have expressed my love for them any better than Mrs. Browning did.
Nothing real special here. All I can say is scraps, scraps, scraps! I keep several bags & a stuffed drawer of scraps and just start pulling pieces out and slowly a combination of colors seem to start going together. Even the stamped pieces were scraps I had saved. I recommend keeping everything, much to my DH’s dismay.
Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “What’s your favorite poem? Why?” I urge you to give it a try. Being that it’s the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to state your dreams and goals. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.
Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the next RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.
Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.
Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.
15 Comments so far
Leave a comment