Ekphrastic Poetry

Ekphrastic Poetry

Was the topic for last night’s gathering at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Mindful Museum: Virtual Poetry Hour. Jameela Davis, who is a writer-scholar, led the group. I found out that Ekphrastic poems are vivid descriptions of works of art and so that is what we did, look at beautiful art. Then Jameela led us through a series of exercises that helped us to create lists of words based on that piece.

I, Buffalo by Lien Truong and Lines that Link Humanity by El Anatsui were the two pieces we looked at. I was really taken with the way hard edge geometry was interwoven with loose and flowing brushwork. The colors in this piece spoke to mystery and I loved the way there seemed to be an eye looking out at me, watching.

After the lists came poetry writing, which is not something I normally do, but I was willing to give it a try. I have been reading books recently where poets are main characters and I was intrigued as to how their mind worked and how they saw the world. So I wove a pattern with words instead of shapes and came up with this:

Open Ended Musing

Open ended musing is a candle hovering,

    passing over stretched linen

Leaving it’s feathery essence     

    trailing colors cloaked in grey

Whispering names as they slip by

    Yellow Ochre






Have you ever dabbled in poetry?