I’d say my book is a mix between a visual and structure book as it’s in an accordion style–and a rather sad one at that. I’m good friends with the term “no qualifiers,” but I have a hard time making things look pretty when it comes to crafts, which is probably why I’ve resorted to creating a book’s content over creating the object the content comes in. Nonetheless, I’d love the chance to redo my book in a cleaner way.
One half of the accordion is painted watercolors with warm colors and is accompanied with Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (let’s just say my affinity for S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders has never faded). That was the half I impulsively placed things as I went along, lacking a great bit of planning.
The opposite, however, are polaroids of the cemetery on campus, specifically of graves that were desecrated or have been long abandoned. I wanted to focus on how we go through a great deal of embellishments when it comes to death, yet it doesn’t matter in a few decades, leaving vandalized headstones grown over with weeds. The poem still goes along with that idea, but with a lack of materials and the lab portion, it was a little difficult to properly execute.
Originally, I planned on having a stained glass look on the opposite side, which is why I cut out the back of one of the polaroids and have pink shards of film scattered on the pages. The flowers were ones I picked off of campus in hopes of making it look prettier and to focus on that idea on the temporary.
As for future readers, I think I anticipate someone who has low standards (I joke), but really, someone who doesn’t want a full story or any sort of narrative. Maybe it’s because I’m presently listening to “Nothing Else Matters,” but honestly, if they can get that idea along with a sense of comfort, I’d be happy because that was my message.
As for the language/text parts of my book, I wish I steered clear of it. I wish I took more photos instead to tell my story, though I plan on doing something that’ll hopefully better illustrate that. The whole poem didn’t fully capture what I wanted–and I may have a copyright lawsuit on my hands–and quite honestly, I want to leave room for the reader to interpret my intent. Even in poetry anymore, we’re told what we’re supposed to take away to an extent. The series of polaroids and where they were placed can do just as well–and probably better, in this case–job to narrate something to someone.
But after hearing people from class have a better appreciation for it than I did really stuck with me, especially since they liked the part I hated with the watercolors. They wanted the more messy side of it, which I found a little odd. Perhaps I should “practice” my impulsiveness a little bit more than I want to. Even with all my complaining about the book, I’m glad I was able to get my message across to people who saw beauty in the ugly parts–almost like how I see beauty in the cemetery despite its connotations.