The master class with poet Cathy Lin Che was both thought provoking and entertaining. The class was open to students and staff of all levels of study, so I did not feel like an outsider due to my lack of familiarity with the art of poetry. I thought that becoming a part of this class would be a great way for me to see a particular marriage of my major, Communications with a concentration in film, and my minor, creative writing. Cathy was very kind, approachable, and knowledgeable, which made the workshop less intimidating. 

We explored how poetic devices can be applied to the moving image, and how cinematic qualities can be used in poetry. Emotional resonance was an idea that was discussed – how images are not static, and not just visual, but experiential as well. We also discussed the image as a metaphor as well, and how we could take an image into another realm. We supplemented these ideas with poetry writing exercises, which was something I had not explored since high school. I found that these exercises helped me realize the connection between moving image and poetry because we are able to explore ideas through images – the two are more closely related than I had initially thought.


We ended the class with a few clips of poetry that were deliberately superimposed on moving images. One poem we looked at juxtaposed a clip of the event where an Algerian soccer player head-butted another player. The artist read an original poem over a slowed down clip of the incident, stating possible reasons why the event occurred through her own words. After watching a few examples of poetry over images, the students were tasked with making their own on our cell phones. I recited a poem I wrote during class over the image of my feet clicking each other, which was interpreted in various ways by those who experienced the piece. It is rather remarkable that one could come up with something experiential and thought-provoking in such a small amount of time by using moving image together with poetry.

Rana Ayhan