Self portrait

Self portrait

barbara's picture


Liner Notes: 

To be honest this is not a song. It’s not even pretending to be a lyric. I’m posting it anyway, because it’s where today’s prompt took me. I might try to refine it into some kind of lyrical shape at a later date. If not, I still spent some quality time with a memory.

“Every man’s work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.”

- Samuel Butler



To the passersby in cars:
A young woman in jeans
topped by a long nightgown
Wandering in an abandoned field
of overgrown kudzu
Striking a pose

This girl
So set on doing things alone
Acting as her own model
to honor her imagination
Hopping through the nuisance vines
Back-and-forth from camera
to her carefully scouted position
to hold yet another pose
and wait for the next hopeful click of the shutter

This surreal jungle
in a sketchy part of town
No place to be alone
with valuable goods in tow
Burrowed into deep artistic focus,
betting on her invulnerability

In a simple muslin dress
Her dark hair loose and long
Infrared loaded with care
ready for alchemy with the sun
to effect not a self portrait, but a vision
inspired by Cameron and Moon
A portrait of a gentle ethereal creature
in a luminous white cloud of upturned faces
In a place where cities do not exist

A portrait that stands today
As a testament to the wild bravery of youth
When seized by an idea
deemed to be a good one

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


coolparadiso's picture

Yes from an excellent quote! Its a very nice piece of writing and could easily become a song. I think its very good whatever you want to call it. I might call it a pre song!

musicsongwriter's picture

Very vivid and interesting to read, original lyrics. I like them a lot.

cindyrella's picture

Wow! Vivid images that I love as is but would also be a great song. Brilliant!

Zeekle's picture

You’ve painted some interesting scenes within your writing. This is easily a song or spoken poetry (or whatever you wish it to be).

AndyGetch's picture

Oh this is an awesome song lyric! The scene and actions show and don't tell. So very much a self-portrait. Rhyming is overrated anyway Smile I hope it gets music.

nancyrost's picture

Bursting the form is apt for the subject of this self-portrait. So vivid, visually and emotionally. I like it a lot!

Marilisa's picture

This is beautiful - I feel like I'm there. Actually I think I'd like to hear this spoken over a musical background!

corinne54's picture

You've painted - or photographed - a wonderful portrait with your words. Fun allusion to art ("sketchy") Really nice one Barbara. You could definitely transform this into a lyric, but it stands alone quite well as is.

kahlo2013's picture

This is so beautifully rich and poetic. The images are beautiful and poignant - the sense of strength in the character with her portrait beautiful beyond her surroundings. Really gorgeous perspective.

Chip Withrow's picture

Oh, I think this could be a song! Set to some jazzy acoustic chords, and the vocal spoken/sung.
My daughter just started college, and I see some of her in your words.

tjeff's picture

This could definitely be set to music. Fantastic writing whether you want it to be a lyric or not, such honest and vivid descriptions, my favorite is “hopping through the nuisance vines.”

cleanshoes's picture

Such a lovely, transporting portrait. Truly honors the spirit of youth and past versions of self. Thank you for sharing!

What a great picture this evokes. Or set of pictures - or selfies! I've not heard kudzu described as "nuisance vines" before, but the description is *perfect* (we don't have the stuff over here in the UK, thank goodness, but I know it well from my time working in Atlanta) and made me laugh, even as I contemplate trying to get my own waterlogged garden into shape for the long weekend ahead...