Ekphrasis and Picasso’s light

This past weekend at the Red Clay Writer’s Workshop, I took part in a session led by Amy Pence on ekphrasis in poetry. (Don’t feel bad. I didn’t know what it meant either!) Essentially, as far as its use in poetry is concerned, this term refers to writing as a response to a visual work of art. From the Greek “ek” which means “out” and “phrasis” which means “to speak,” ekphrastic poetry can be an illuminating description of the art, or it can treat the visual work more as a jumping-off point as it takes the reader in a new direction. It can also be some combination of these approaches or anything in between.

Here’s to trying new things! Here’s to using brain cells that have been napping for years! Here’s my first attempt along with the image that inspired it:





birthed upon air

   in incandescent glow

this beast of aether

   and light 


before its wide-eyed 

   crouched creator

tethered still

   to his gleaming


anchored faces stand


      in mute witness

in temporal counter-point

   to this fiery visitation

do they wonder

   as it fades

      from whence it came?

do they wonder

      as I

      where it goes?


For more on Picasso’s fascinating light drawings, follow this link: http://life.time.com/culture/picasso-draws-with-light-1949/#1



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3 Responses to Ekphrasis and Picasso’s light

  1. Taylor says:

    Outstanding! Leaves me with awe.

  2. Frieda says:

    fascinating and a new opportunity for you to express your creativity

  3. Kiki says:

    Very good poem! Read aloud you can hear the ” wonder in the words” you have put together. I am only too sorry I missed this event. Amy Pence is a brilliant teacher and I have loved attending her workshops and trying out new methods for writing poetry. She truly inspires great poetry !

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