Sandy Shreve
Paintings, Photo Art, Poetry

Blog - Wednesday Poems

(posted on 19 Jun 2024)

With the first day of summer coming right up, I thought I’d post another poem from my book
Belonging (Sono Nis Press).  As a kid, a favourite early summer (and late spring) ritual was the 
search for a blade of grass wide enough that when positioned just so, you could blow into it and
make a harsh squawk. The longer you could make the sound last, the better.  That memory 
prompted me to write Improvisation.

Decades later, this poem along with some of my favourite jazz pieces, inspired a painting, Jazz,
the image shown above. In the past, I’ve written poems responding to paintings (a method
called ekphrasis) but this was the first time I’d responded the other way around. 
A few years later,
artist Annie Smith ( taught me how to make accordion books, so I made
one, shown below, to go with this pair. For this book I photographed details from the painting
to fill the panels on one side, and printed stanzas of the poem for the reverse panels.