POETRY IN MOTION

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Submitted Date 08/22/2019
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Poetry In Motion
Age 43-51, Williston, North Carolina, 1987-1995
About photographer Eadweard Muybridge and his photographic study of "Human Locomotion."
The picture for this poem is one I made with the early Radio Shack CoCo computer I described in an earlier poem entitled Meta-Tools.
I scanned in Muybridge's photos and then colorized them with 1980s computer software.

-- This is one poem, from my autobiographical series of poems, that I posted here at WriteSpike. Go to my Stories section for others. They are in chronological order. --

"One thing was very clear from Muybridge's pictures:
No painter had ever gotten the position of a horse's legs correctly.
In fact, many contemporary painters disputed his findings...
as it meant that their paintings were all incorrect."

~ equineink.wordpress.com ~

It was simple
take photographs of a man walking
of a woman holding a scarf
coming down the stairs
to see how the human body
actually moved

in a famous bet
Muybridge had already proved
that the eye had been fooled
for centuries
as all four horses hooves
did leave the ground
at one point during a gallop

then like a strong microscope
he turned high-speed photography
on the ordinary,
taking sequences of motion:
a woman
with a broom in hand
with a bucket
a man
with a baseball bat
with a hammer and anvil
nude people
clothed people

for the first time we could see
reality frozen at 1/1000 of a second
and go beyond what the naked eye
could perceive

fascinated
I looked at his tens of thousands
of shots
thinking of the body shapes
like abstract imagery -
not realizing that
I had been pulled back
into figurative art
as I played with his public domain work
using early computer imaging

only years later with a digital camera
did I reap the benefits;
because of his study
I now understood human movement:

in candid situations I could take
a picture over 8 seconds
that recorded continuous movement
not broken into sharp frames
but one photo
blurred with the passage of time

an impression of the moment
the simple continuity
of everyday
comings and goings

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  • Ceara 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    Muybridge certainly is an inspiration. Love the image you created!

  • Rick Doble 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    Muybridge did that study as a scientific work -- but I approached it as an artistic work.