Art, Creativity, Inspiration, poetry, Poetry Month, Stories, Writing Inspiration

What the Heck is Ekphrastic #Poetry?

 

paper cutout of a couple on a book
Story. Photo by Rossyyme, flickr.com creative commons

 

In the spirit of poetry month, I thought I’d make a poem for this week’s post. Last year, I celebrated the month with the post Late To The Poetry Party, offering a poem and several links to other poets (who actually submit poems and win honors).

Have you ever heard a term that sounded so odd you wanted to blurt, “Say what?”

That’s how I felt when I first heard of Ekphrastic poetry but I didn’t ask the question out loud. First, my mind and tongue tried to wrap itself around the weird word. Second, maybe I didn’t want to hear the definition; sounded like a cutting word.

I heard the word from my writing mentor, Fred Arroyo, who participated in this interesting workshop:

“PINTURA : PALABRA, a project in ekphrasis” is a multi-year initiative that encourages new Latino writing inspired by art, above all a Smithsonian American Art Museum traveling exhibit titled Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. Aspects of this initiative include ekphrastic writing workshops; inviting writers to engage with the exhibit; and partnering with literary journals to publish portfolios of ekphrastic writing. The exhibit debuted in Washington, D.C. in 2013 and concludes its tour in Sioux City, Iowa in 2017.

You can read how he uses ekphrastic poetry here.

This is from the Poetry Foundation:

An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.

Now, whenever I go to a museum or see a lovely piece of photography, my creative juices begin squirting and sometimes land on something I like.

This is a photo which mesmerized me for a few minutes. A story followed.

 

inside of monastery, sunlight, photo by Helmut Tobies
Photo of Monastery by Helmut Tobies, unsplash.com/creative commons

 

In another time,

another place

sunlight danced on the shoulders

of forbidden lovers

pressed against columns

moist with passion

beneath arches,

                                                          a canopy to cover scandal,

the joyful

sighs of love.

Her velvet gown

crushed by nubby wool

of a friar’s frock,

surrounded by scents of jasmine

and aromatic oils.

More than one great romance

glowed in the shadows

of the setting sun

in another century, in another monastery.

The photo connected with me, perhaps because I love architecture, medieval times, and television shows like “Reign.”

I find that Ekphrastic poetry is a good way to stimulate creativity and can serve as a writing prompt. Many times I need something to propel me to start writing, especially if I’m revising (which is most of the time).

So tell me, what do you see?

Inspiration, poetry

Measuring the Days of Our Life – #Poetry

 

Tree of Life in Spring
Tree of Life-Photo by H. Koppdelany, flickr.com

 

For whatever reason, maybe the wind swaying the palm trees in my backyard or the patio chimes sounding, I felt wistful.

Maybe I felt like that because I finished a difficult scene in a novel I’m writing. It could be the stir of memories or the longing of wanting something which seems impossible to achieve.

Whatever the reason I came across this beautiful photo and had some thoughts about what the photographer might have been saying.

 

Thinking About Life

 

And the days pass like the leaves dropping from trees

tumbling one after another, every year,

faster than the one before.

 

Layers of memories, once vivid, fading into a blur.

 

We grow older, leave our past,

drift across the present and into our future.

Short shadows now cast long.

 

We look to the sky, knowing our view is measured.

 

How much of the blue do we see,  

as much as when we were young?

More now that we are not?

 

How we will miss that sky, 

scribbled with wafting clouds.

How we will miss the brilliance of a sun-splashed day.

 

The pages of our life keep turning,

nearing the end of a chapter,

nearer to the end of the story.

 

What do you see?