The Poet as Photographer ~ and vice versa!


Here's a question for you: what camera or cameras would our best poets use? Emily Dickinson, for instance, who wrote:

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

Here's another: If mulling over this question leads to lines of thought that might impact or challenge your own picture making, could you share those reflections with us?

I've just begun on this, myself, and will have to get back to you...




betwixt and between
Irenaeus, you are setting the bar high!

I'm sure my reaction to what camera Emily would use is based solely on my own experience so I will say if she could she'd use a Fuji X100 due her contemplative nature.

I will give the line of thought more consideration and do my best to respond.


Arizona, USA
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost
Walking By Woods On A Snowy Evening

I think he would have an EP3.


Hall of Famer
Dallas, TX
Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed -
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest
For he comes the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand

W B Yeats

He would us a XZ-1, the fast lens would alow him to catch the fleeting gloom of Twilight


Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jim Krivitz
As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.

Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.

Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.

"Stages", The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse.

Goodbye Nikon DSLR, Hello Sony NEX, Looking forward to Fuji X200, and on and on and on.....


Administrator Emeritus
Philly, Pa
As you go about your life,
brother whatever be your goal
keep your eye upon the donut
and not upon the hole

Dr Murray Banks, he would be using an M6 with a 50 Cron.


thanks to each and every one!

these are great answers ~ cummins and yeats were old friends, and frost I knew, of course. i'd never seen that poem by herman hesse, however, though i loved reading his siddharta many years ago and this particular piece rings a certain resonance in my own life. banks is also new to me, and i love the way he brings it all full circle, so to speak...

it's funny, but this kind of sharing (unusual on the internet, in my experience,) has put a delighted smile on my face that doesn't seem to want to fade away at all...

many cheers, and all the best!



Top Veteran
Kiev, Ukraine
I think Josef Brodsky will use a Zorky with a Jupiter-12.

Darling, you think it's love, it's just a midnight journey.
Best are the dales and rivers removed by force,
as from the next compartment throttles "Oh, stop it, Bernie,"
yet the rhythm of those paroxysms is exactly yours.
Hook to the meat! Brush to the red-brick dentures,
alias cigars, smokeless like a driven nail!
Here the works are fewer than monkey wrenches,
and the phones are whining, dwarfed by to-no-avail.
Bark, then, with joy at Clancy, Fitzgibbon, Miller.
Dogs and block letters care how misfortune spells.
Still, you can tell yourself in the john by the spat-at mirror,
slamming the flush and emerging with clean lapels.
Only the liquid furniture cradles the dwindling figure.
Man shouldn't grow in size once he's been portrayed.
Look: what's been left behind is about as meager
as what remains ahead. Hence the horizon's blade.

And his friend W. H. Auden would be using a Canonet.

Look, stranger, on this island now
The leaping light for your delight discovers,
Stand stable here
And silent be,
That through the channels of the ear
May wander like a river
The swaying sound of the sea.

Here at a small field's ending pause
Where the chalk wall falls to the foam and its tall ledges
Oppose the pluck
And knock of the tide,
And the shingle scrambles after the suck-
-ing surf, and a gull lodges
A moment on its sheer side.

Far off like floating seeds the ships
Diverge on urgent voluntary errands,
And this full view
Indeed may enter
And move in memory as now these clouds do,
That pass the harbour mirror
And all the summer through the water saunter.

Thank you for raising this topic! When I was younger, I spent countless hours translating best English poems into Russian.


Great stuff, stratocaster ~ what a wonderful way to spend your youthful hours! Just to find that out would have been well worth the (admittedly miniscule) effort of starting this thread!

Here's another thought from me, and in haiku's 17 syllables, though after the poetry you have shared, perhaps it should be filed under "from the sublime to the ridiculous!"

what camera would
dickinson use?
significantly obscura!