Wednesday April 18th , 2012 NaPoWriMo Day 18/30

April 17, 2012

Wednesday April 18th , 2012 NaPoWriMo Day 18

Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.— – Gene Fowler

It may have been written before, but I’ve new walked down this particular path.–CJJ

Ekphrastic poetry since the 20th century is a poem written about an existing piece of art. The word (also spelled ecphrasis) is a Greek transcription from ek or out of and phrasis or speech/ expression. It originally meant simply a passage in a poem that describes something. Horace developed it in a verse letter to his friend Pisos (the third letter in Book 11 of the Epistles). Homer imagined and described what a shield looked like in the Iliad (Book 18). The shield didn’t exist except in the imagination.


Today’s prompt therefore can be done in several ways. You can write a poem about one of the suggested works of art I suggest from a few links. You can write a poem about an imagined work of art or artistic object. Or you can write a poem about a work of visual art of your choice. Modern ekphrasis poems are limited to shorter poems (but if you want to work on your inner Milton…go for it). The most famous example is Keat’s Ode on a Grecian Urn; Shelley’s: On the Medusa of Leonard Da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery. Blake’s The Tyger was conceived to accompany his painting/drawing. Some of other favorites include John Berryman’s Winter Landscape (Hunters in the Snow); Wallace Steven’s Angel Between Two Paysans, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s The wounded wilderness of Morris Graves and William Carlos Williams Pictures from Breughel.
You don’t need to write a poem that includes an accurate description of many of the visual components in the work of Art you chose. Instead, feel free to focus on one aspect of the painting or drawing and create a commentary or a series of impressions. You can also follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Bishop’s Poem, John Ashbery’s  Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” or Charles Wright’s “Homage to Claude Lorraine,” and include information outside of the actual work—how you came to see or were affected by the work of art. Yes, you can write in a voice and imagine this.

I don’t want to limit your approach to writing your ekphrastic poem at all.

Do let us know what Art inspired the poem.

Jackson Pollack Number 9

Vermeer: Girl with Pearl Earring

Picasso (1968) http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&ct=img&q=http://www.museenkoeln.de/_medien/mlk/Picasso_Pablo.jpg&sa=X&ei=tYaNT6yiCYfhiAKe1YnGCA&ved=0CAoQ8wc4gQI&usg=AFQjCNG_gkNbzQod5M8Q8sW0UZf9_yeDpA




Day 17 Prompt Poems (Response/inspiration from another poem)

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Even good stories need good story-tellers. The house
filled with things in precise places—for comfort; for show
front room with plastic couches ready for guests
who never came. Children forbidden to play here.
Grey rug shows imprint of china cabinet displaying fancy plates
and porcelain music boxes, few ever touched.
There was no clutter, no living done here.
That was for kitchen and here is the stove
which held big cast-iron frying pans and giant pots for soup.
A silver fan above, still there under dark brown grease
to transport into sky, smoke, steam and cooking smells.
The epicenter, ground zero of family life.
Laminate counter where dishes stacked, scratched, stained and cracked.
once washed of evidence, they couldn’t hint
of what they once held, not unlike an empty page–
waiting for drawings, notes or stories needing telling;
of the family in this place.. Look there
the door moldings dented where kitchen table hit
then turned and maneuvered to pass on through;
placed in position with anticipation; moved out in bitter haste.
Kids misbehaving, “Sit up straight., “Your turn to clean the table.”
“His night to wash the plates.” Mom and Dad laughing,
then not speaking at all except: “elbows off the table.”
An empty seat on occasion was barely considered
but vacated chair for longer added chill into the air.
On top that stained linoleum was once prized cooler.
Laughter, celebration, the day it was delivered–
magic–it automatically defrosted.
Beyond the fence in back, the woods and running creek
tadpoles, crawdads, turtles,
crickets and sometimes snakes.
Wild pheasants, deer, rumors of a bear.
But over-time the crowded trees came down.
New neighbors, lawns, more fences, pool.
Where did Dad go and then the rest?
Do you really have to ask?

Listen to the echoes of Saturday morning mowers
barbecues in summer, burnt hotdogs in the air,
remember tag, little league, flag football laughter.
Before the year, winter followed spring.
Now, just empty shells;
the scars that have not faded.

(inspired by responding to Philip Levine’s poem A Story which can viewed at Poets.org here: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21344)

The root of the word Poetry is from the Greek ποιέω (poieō), “‘I
make’”). , poiesis, meaning a “making” or ‘creation’
Poetry is Everything
©2012 Christopher J. Jarmick All Rights Reserved


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