Poetry illustration – when words and pictures dance the good dance
Finding the images to go with a poem can be a very fine line to dance along. Images that come up are personal to everyone who reads the poem. And yet many things about any poem are universal. They tug at common heart-strings; the language is designed to distil a lot of feeling and meaning into very few words. Illustrating poetry is up there as the champagne of illustration, for me at any rate. How can one not feel honoured when asked to embellish someone else’s work of art?
It’s intimidating, but – probably because I love poetry, that quells the fear. It can be very challenging to put into visual form what the poet has already put into a kind of word-image, so vividly are the images evoked, very often.
These are a few selected poems from a recent job for Shuter & Shooter, Pietermaritzburg.
Enjoy the poetry and you are most welcome to weigh in with your thoughts on any poem and/or image.