Friday, May 3, 2013

Ekphrastic Poetry Writing

I had a neat experience last weekend in a workshop about writing ekphrastic poetry.

So just what is that?

Ekphrassis, the Greek root (a verb), means 'to describe'.  So, it is poetry written that is inspired by a different type/piece of art work which is described in the poem.  The description doesn't have to be the full poem, but is helpful to provide the reader a way of imagining what the author is writing about or even identify it when seen.

First step:  Choose an inspiration piece based on how you connect with it and vice versa.

Second step:  Look at and study the inspiration piece...take notes.  What I had to do was to look more deeply than I normally would at the subject piece I chose.  What were its colors?  What were the shapes in it and what did they remind me of?  Was there a story already there?  What did the artist say about his/her work in the label?  What was the ambiance in the piece?  Did a stare from one of the characters in the piece evoke something in me?  If so, what was it?  Answering these and other questions help you write the poem by providing reference points.

Third step:  Now, connect the dots...start writing and draft your poem.

Fourth step:  Read the draft, revise it, and re-read...repeating until satisfied.


For me, it has been a long time since I've done any writing, but I was pleased with the result and will do this type of writing again.

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