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  • Writer's pictureKaecey McCormick

Surrealism, Nature, and Poetry

I draw heavily from nature both when writing and creating visual art. Often the images that come to me when I create, while based on observations from the real world, take on a surrealist quality when they appear on the page or canvas.

For example, a few weeks ago on a hike I was surrounded by a host of sparrows grabbing bugs and hopping in puddles. Later that day, when I was writing, the sparrows took on human qualities as they walked with me down the trail, and the result was a surrealist poem.

Since the fog is ever present where I live in Northern California, it frequently features in my work. Here are a few lines from a recent poem in progress combining surrealism and the natural world as the fog becomes a character in the piece:


The fog keeps stealing my pencil

so I lay back on the coyote bush,

watch as graphite darkens the stars,

one by one,

until only the moon remains...

This is just part of a draft, but there's a seed of something interesting there that I want to work with. And that's the goal (or at least my goal)—to lean into what calls to you.

I've found that letting go of having to “make sense” can add surprise and interest to my work. Maybe this can work for you, too.

If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, try making observations from nature and combining them with objects, animals, or situations from your daily life in a way that doesn't necessarily make sense (e.g., the ants are sending emails) to create something fresh and new.

Then tell me about it in the comments on this post or by contacting me directly!


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