Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Poem A Day: Day Six

2010 April PAD Challenge: Day 6
Posted by Robert Lee Brewer  

For this prompt, write an ekphrastic poem. According to John Drury's The Poetry Dictionary, ekphrastic poetry is "Poetry that imitates, describes, critiques, dramatizes, reflects upon, or otherwise responds to a work of nonliterary art, especially the visual." So, I've provided links to two pieces of art, and I want you to pick one (or both) to write an ekphrastic poem. (It would be helpful for you to mention which art you picked.)

Pocahontas, by Annie Leibovitz
Flight of the Witches, by Francisco de Goya

Flashblind Pocahontas

With passionate indifference

She leaps through false foliage.

Voice off-screen commands:

Hold, then run again

Now LEAP, and –

Great. Again.


Flashblind, she resets to square one and

Damp leaves cleave to her bare toes.

She hears the clicking, clicking

As she runs, she believes

            One snap, she believes:

Twigs and verdant moss

And a man who wants to buy

Her soul

Is on a ship on shallow anchor.

In this way they are alike

This small way


As she leaps, she hears:

Hold, now. Run again

Now LEAP and snap.

Great. Again.

Well, this is a strange little poem. I chose the Pocahontas photo because of an immediate dislike I felt upon seeing it. I balked at it, thinking, 'This is so not Pocahontas.' I tried to imagine the photo shoot and Annie Leibovitz direction of the actress through the phony fall setting. 

Thanks for reading!

(cross posted everywhere)

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