Idealism is an attractive flower, the first published collection of poetry/photography by Oneida Morningstar Cramer, contains 87 individual “photopoems,” which is a term introduced by Cramer to describe the form of her works combining original poetry and photography.
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I first had the idea for this project when I was working as a journalist in the ‘90’s, writing articles for People Newspapers in Dallas. I wrote the text of the articles and also took photographs to accompany them. Over time, I became distinctly aware of how the presence of a picture next to an article subtly affected the text, how the nature of the picture changed ever so slightly your perception of the words and of the article as a whole.
I had been writing poetry, and I began to be intrigued by the idea of putting poetry together with pictures, in order to explore this interesting dynamic between word and image. I’ve always loved playing with words, and I’ve written a lot of poetry in a variety of styles. When I first began experimenting with the photopoem technique, I had a hard time finding the right approach. The balance of forces that exists in the photopoem format is fundamentally different than that of conventional poetry
The ideal flower is not here just any flower, is not the perfect flower; it is a flower that is strangely present and actual, and that affects the way you can write about it. My approach to photography has changed as well. I have found a new freedom to take lots of different kinds of pictures, to exercise the versatile power of the photograph to create not just views but spaces, however small, for the voice to reverberate; spaces as varied as the experience of life itself.
Oneida Morningstar Cramer
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About the Author
Oneida Morningstar Cramer was born in Virginia, raised in Maryland, and educated at the University of Maryland, where she earned a doctorate in physiology. A longtime Dallas resident, Cramer has worked as a scientist, homemaker, teacher, journalist, and has held professional and volunteer positions in the field of non-profit arts business. She has been active as a poet and a photographer for many years. This volume is her first published collection of works.