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Definition & Discussion of Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poems
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See also: Best Famous Poems

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Waterloo Bridge

In London fog, the river stills.
In silver sleep, it cools and fills
with cobalt mist as dawn unfolds;
above the Thames, the sun bleeds gold.
Into the haze, it pours and pools
like melting opal, liquid jewels
until the brume of morning fades
to prune the sky with unseen blades
that slice the flaming clouds in two
to frame a glimpse of Waterloo.

*Inspired by Monet's painting, "Waterloo Bridge: Sun in a Fog"

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Abbi of Bacabi

She left one day, her Kiowa village
And stood proudly in the sun
Beneath the Tabletop Mountains 
And walked among the golden sea
Of waving grass, fearless and alone
Waiting, with keen ears and sacred breath
For the setting sun to call her name
So that her spirit could cross the great divide
No more would she walk
Across my night or my day...
Except on the wind that touches my face
Or the laughter from a child
Or perhaps in the song a meadow lark sings
And surely in the pleasure of my dreams
And in slumber I can rest, knowing full well
That her spirit has entered the land of green pastures.

Inspired by t.c.cannon and his wonderful artwork

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

A Depiction Of One Artist And His Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh~Starry Night __________________________ a precarious world of indecision a dark pallet of light this brilliant depiction , it does scream , it cries out blues and yellows swirl in a maze of defeat a crescent moon suspended in a blissful evening , hangs lone in agony I rest within this small town of hope my eyes are saddened , my mind relentless in delight You are mine , my asylum , my starry night a dimension of light under this wrenching canopy of demise oh Vincent... __________________________

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |


                    Awomancarries a lamp through the window
to illuminate theendlesschaos 
Lot of lost souls
run one into the other
How to distinguish one from the other?
Only pain and agony
and irremediably, inevitably, cowardly
Innocent civilians

Over the horse’s head
One light bulb singles its sorrow
there is a skull in its nose
an eventuality
Is it a light bulb?
or a shining sun?
or a watching eye?
Another woman look at it blank minded
without time to pray
without time

There is a dove in shadows
like a symbol
like a witness
One flower grows next to
a soldier's arm 
can't drop the sword

A bull, a horse, and a woman screaming knives
without target
In her arms there is a dead child
a dead child, a dead child, a dead child
Somebody raises his arms on fire
fire from above and below

Dead or dying
people and animals
with eyes and mouths open
in horror, in pain
crying and suffering
Innocent civilians
Pablo thought that it happened in Guernica 
but it was Vietnam, Korea, Lebanon, Bosnia, Iraq, Gaza, Pakistan, Afghanistan...


                                                                                       Pablo Picasso


Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

A Beautiful Woman


Her face was a constellation of perfections 
She was ravishing; beautiful beyond condemnation. 
Her voice was like many water 
Yet, it's coo whenever she sputtered. 

Her gait was just so alluring 
No wonder men couldn't help but kept gazing. 
She trod on her pathway like a goddess -
This woman I saw was priceless. 

Even her dance step sent signals to heavenly bodies 
The immortals were mesmerized - she was more than a novice. 
The flexibility of her body was as a swift wind
It moved so fast, it could not be filmed. 

When she sang, it was like that of an angel 
Kingdoms let loosed: heaven, earth and hell 
In her eyes, you'd see paradise 
In her world, great men and women did arise 

There was ample concinnity in her kingdom 
Everything was cloudless, no entrenchment of freedom 
She also spoke with authority and with great audacity 
Owning to her greatness, she created a brawny fraternity 

Loosed men and women longed to have her by their side
'Sorry, I'm not your type' she did chide 
They tried to restrain, but they were so much in love 
Her being angry at them only waxed their hearts together in her glove 

Men of great status came to have her
They were with their luxuries - they came from afar 
The splendour of her beauty got them sprawling to the floor 
The radiance of her look made their visions blur

In her, greatness was defined 
There are so many traits of hers which can't be outlined 
She kept her statute; she was a woman of virtue
Her works were known, they reached their plateau 

Of a truth, this woman is a goddess 
And this makes me remember the game of chess
At the end, the king and queen are brought to rear
So also is this woman I saw. Her name is Nigeria.

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Table for One

Insistent starkness claims a leafless day
Where morning breaks with silent calm and dread
The slope of field is framed, behind the glass
reveals a fallen tree, with jagged edge
and grassy hills now laced with autumn rust 

Inside we find a plain and cheerless room
The table sparce, an empty chair
A plate, a knife, a saucer, without spoon
One empty cup, will wait for no one there...

Ambiance of what has been, 
 ...still lingers in the air,
as amber glows, with threats of snow,
are just a hint, instead

Lonely hours, and lonely days, and lonely shadows blend
The endless songs of yesterday, slip in from window's ledge 
A meager meal will spread upon a table set for one
Where breaking bread alone without a friend
is companioned by a solitary end 

The angled sun, casts shadows deep and long
A somber mood, reflects this quiet calm 
Upon the walls, where gardens grew, are faded memories 
where yellow blooms of yesterday, are just a step away

Where, once were two, who loved and knew their sun would rise again
There now is one who sits alone the table set for one 
Where hope has gone, when morning comes...
                                       to sing a lonely song

Based on the Painting by Andrew Wyeth ... "Groundhog Day"

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Above the Mantel

A stretch and yawn, upon the dawn, where golden sunlight warms Venetian blinds, are wound with care, and opens up the morn The early dew is drying now, and sun lies on the hills The chill of night has disappeared, and everything is still Two doves are strutting on the path, of cobblestone and sand A clothesline strung across the yard, sails sheets against the wind A quaintness of a cottage row, hangs on to yesterday Where doves would sing a peaceful song, to welcome a new day
Inspired by a Painting... 9/1/14

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

PAINTING: Fruit Pickers Under a Mango Tree--1937

Golden gleams of rays lend a refreshing glow
to leaves that wink and glimmer green
Breeze and shade cool fruit pickers' brows...
a laid back afternoon
for sun-kissed mangoes and Filipina beauties

**inspired by Fernando Amorsolo's 
"Fruit Pickers Under a Mango Tree"
-- he is known to be the painter of Philippine Sunlight


Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

The Greatest Generation

Wise to emulate
“The Greatest Generation”
Depression Era
Hard times faced with dignity
Heroes rose from common men
*Entry for Brian’s Ekphrasis contest.  Based on the book “The Greatest Generation” 
by Tom Brokaw, a truly inspiring account of how people met the financial challenges 
of The Great Depression.

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

haiga - Enigmatic Moment

C          R           O
a           a           n
p           p           l
t            t           y
v           I           S
e           n           h
             s           e
S           i
h           d           C
e           e           a
I            T
s            h          S
             e           e
H                        e
e           M
 l           y
d           s

Inspired by Brian Strands' Imagine contest and Edward Hoppers' "Automat"

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Wheatfield With Crows

Sinuous wheat stalks swelter and writhe in Auvers' July-dry heat:
a too-bright arid glittering, a delirious rippling of sizzling citrine.
Doom-dark crows convene to swoop and scavenge on turmoil's tempest
under indigo storm-swirled skies. A dead-end decision on a nowhere road;
his last-stand canvas smashed aside; a last stride into the smouldering gold.

*Vincent Van Gogh's 'Wheatfield With Crows' is believed to be his last painting

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Black Sunday {Personification in Couplet form}

I was as high as the eyes could see
A giant dark cloud of pure misery

I seemed to roll as one with the wind
A giant black wall that had no end

I stripped the land and left it bare
Of the lives I destroyed, I didn’t care

Those who stayed I covered in dust
As their children died I broke their trust

From my hell many families did flee
Left to wander homeless in misery

I changed the word these words are true 
Black Sunday brought darkness on you

I didn't see any direct link but just goggle
pictures of the dust bowl and you will see
what i have written for Brian's Contest.
The Dust Bowl - Alexandre Hogue - 1937

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Picture Perfect

I fondle the brush strokes of a brown afternoon, inviting me along, to the land of down under. I will take a small journey, under gunmetal skies, through country as rough as the crackled veneer. On the trail of the outback, while the afternoon sighs, there are three saddled horses, two men, and their packs. Roustabouts are riding, with the sun at their backs. A pall of white petals drift over their heads, from a rift in the cottonwoods, that frame the river’s bed. I will drink in illusion, as the horses refresh, as they prance through deep waters, on that calm, summer's day. I am thirsty, and eager, to reach out and touch, and to ride in the outback, beneath silver skies, on the one extra horse, that lingers nearby...
________________________________________________________________ Based on the Painting "A Lil' Bit of Aus..." _________________________________________________

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

The Mighty One

The Mighty One
(A Description of “Scene du deluge”)

He straddles jutting rocks beneath a pall
of sky. Beneath is swirling water, and
the crooked arm of one lone tree is all
he’s found to cling to with his left curled hand.

An older man, who also grasps the tree,
upon the young man’s sturdy back is borne.
His legs are dangling. Awful weight is he
for him who stands exposed, his clothing torn.

His wife hangs from his other hand. One breast
is clutched by her small babe, and from her strains
another child to keep from dark waves’ crest.
The burden of them all - one man sustains!

Can he, mere mortal, thwart their cruel demise?
Stark terror holds the answer in his eyes.

**Many years ago I visited the Louvre, and there I beheld a picture by Girodet of the romantic 
era . This painting stood out for me because of its depiction of a family in such huge peril 
that they were totally dependant on one man and  only his strength could save them all. If 
you copy and paste this link, I hope you might see this stunning picture. The picture's name 
translates to "Scene of a Flood"

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |


         * * * *
“ “ “                  “ “ “

my soul is a stage where spotlights breathe
in an ambush of dance and chorale bubbling heat,
like stardust opening lungs and limbs on dramatic scripts,
a night draped in flights of illumined scenes, somewhere…
i am sucked, deranged, chained in a spin of tears and whips

free verse
all rights reserved

“ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “

 for Brian Strand’s  EKPHRASIS…

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Sunday Morning, 1891 - Edmund Blair Leighton

O' lovely maid, in solitaire so fair of cheek and silken hair A wistful look upon her face It matters not that she is late This Sunday morning at the gate she halts as if to hesitate and looks around with hopeful chance as if to take a second glance for someone whom we cannot see who stands in shadows out of view to join her in the morning dew. Perchance her love will join her there and stroll with her in autumn air She waits a moment at the gate with silver threads laced over blue a shawl of pink and flowered hat in pastel shades of vast array Blended scents of wild bouquet where grasses grow beyond the road in golden waves of amber hue Flowers sprouting here and there A steeple sits upon the hill A stroller on his way to church admires with secret glance I wonder if she'll stroll the path or if she'll turn the other way to walk until she finds a place to sit and pray, or fall from grace... Or worship God in her own way embraced by Sunday's autumn day
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inspired By Isaiah Zerbst's Contest: Edmund Blair Leighton Paintings

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

If I Knew Picasso

If I knew Picasso,
I’d say Pablo come and see.
Bring your canvass here,
And capture this beauty. 

I’d ask him as he painted,
The things he’s thinking of.
If painting brought him peace,
As he paints a painted love.

I‘d watch as he stroked,
The canvass from his soul.
It would leave me in awe,
If I knew Picasso.

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Monet ---Woman in a Garden l867

Lovely maid, in solitaire With parasol and silken hair With hope she dreams, for love she waits For lover's kiss at garden's gate Pastel dreams, of vast array Blending hues of wild bouquet Gardens green, and pallets blue Fields of floral, faded view Blurry image, soft and fair Sense of romance harbors there From soaring wings, soft brush imparts Love's impression fills the heart

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Sundial Bridge

Ordinary words cannot express the glimpse, this strange eclipse of wonder
Driving over hills, just north of home, it captures first my curiosity
Amid the landlocked green of rolling hills, trees and rocky tundra
Could it be, perhaps a sailor gone astray, whose ship has grounded
Upon the rocky valley far from sea?
With mast, the sail that hangs so high...pointing sharply to the sky?
This mystery of amazing engineering artistry!
A bridge!....yet, not so simply said, as to be described as bridge alone
A masterpiece, ... as if a giant human hand
Arrived upon this northern California land to craft a timepiece
A sundial, fit to mock, to rock your faith in any other clock
Where no spring will break, or battery will fail
Where motion works a shadow, which will run as silently as the sun
With a spire that one can see, for miles north and south, over trees and me...
And as the earth rotates the axis on this day
I will walk on glass, across the cantilevered span
Over river wild, and blue and green where salmon run
It gleams as if a giant alabaster sail rules the sea
And when there are clouds it will rest, and all night it will sleep
When the sun lights the earth, then across the land the time will keep.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    .    .
For Brian's Everyman's Ekphrais contest
To see a virtual tour of the Sundial Bridge,
Or type in Sundial Bridge, Redding, California

This bridge is about 25 miles north of my home

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

To Fall Victim Of Beauty

Captivating eyes staring of pleasure where time has slowed and infinity has gathered With delicacy and brazen image I crawl to the virgin canvas shadowed and brightly lit for a moment I am gone..

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Tod Und Frau 1910 (Death and the Woman)

As death creeps out of the darkness,
  A mother becomes the rope in a (Tug of war.)
A child reaches to help its’ mother in her weakness,
  And stares death in the eye with abhor.

The rope falls limp in sure defeat,
  Yet the child pulls on the strength of heart.
Against the evilness and deceit,
  Fighting with the will to not be apart.

The hooks of death on weary knees,
  Shackling the arms, exposing vulnerability.
Screaming and crying the words of “please”
  The mother rests with peace and tranquility.

A child left to battle life’s groans,
  Preparing for the encounter and all its’ lour.
For one day she will meet Mr. Bones,
  And she’ll be the rope in her child’s (Tug of war.) 

Inspired by Brian’s Picture Poem’s Contest

Käthe Kollwitz, Death and the Woman (Tod und Frau), lithograph, 1910.

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Michelangelo's Pietà

A portrayal of stricken grief,
Chiseled divinely in polished stone.
Cold from the touch of time.

Her youthful face slightly leans,
Over the lifeless body of Christ,
As he drapes her anguished knees.

Face to and death,
Cradled in her arm...she laments.
Virginal impressions shadow human suffering.

Her face emanates sweet serenity,
And majestic acceptance of immense sorrow,
While cloaked with her faith in the Redeemer.

Glossy features of peace and tranquility,
Balance a mother’s season of pain.
Seemingly...the rose of resurrection is about to bloom.

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |

Her Poetry

in all it's utter wonderment
i under imaginary pretence
a nocturnal creature stalking images
of the one my readings have made

but prosperity is her blessing
and princess clothings are her dressings
making her far above poor me

my prayer was for conformanity
but so far it was for naught
constant prayers God forgot
yet tis me who this misery
is brought
the times for her i've often sought
i stare in the distance at her walk

the nonchalant way she waves her hands
walking pretending to lead
a parade and band
spreading a happiness so contagious
it brighten the hopes 
of a certian man

at time's i walk near her
for an innocent parle
praying that my pulsating heart 
does'nt give me away
Dr. Cupid recomends
one dose a day
the eyes that let you see the soul
the lips that could never ever grow cold
of the rhythem and tenderness
of her voice

a representation of God's annointed choice
giving to man a gift of love
for we all share her
with eyes and ears

back to the parle
"How are you today?"
"It's a beautiful day."
"This dreary rainy day?"
"Yeah, I love rainy weather."
truth is there was no weather 
as far as i was concerned
my only concern
"is Sandra there?"
"was Alexandra going to be there?"
i've  been lot's of places 
thinking she'd be there
saddened to find out
she was not

in all it's utter wonderment
and my imaginary pretence
a peasant loving a princess
at best
eyes and imagination
secretly blessed

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |


A lifeless body,
Chiseled from divinity:
Draped in mother’s arms.

Details | Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis) Poem | |


and with no end-
constantly re-writing

Inspired by Floating Poem (light sculpture)
by Ron Arad

Seen on a visit to Swarovski Crystal Exhibition