Back in the spring, I attended the first Annual Poet and Writer's workshops in Manchester, VT. One of the sessions I attended had us making collages out of clippings from magazines, them writing poetry to that collage. It was a study of how to take images first, then write our heart to those images, a way of "seeing" poetry in the flow of image around us. Above is my collage, and below is the resulting poem.
The journey is not bliss or battle,
not found in books or memory
or work or dreams.
The journey is not meant to be traveled
alone, or apart,
or across empty seas.
It is mean to be traveled with...
and never ends, and
is never quite, seen.
It's a good exercise, I think, whether you are new to poetry, or long established, and I find myself turning to it often here, taking a photograph or something I have seen, and writing to it. Even in my latest round of "biblical" poetry, having a concrete image seems to help the reader link to it and makes it more accessible.
You can click on the collage for a larger view.