Celebrate Poetry Month with a Free Printable! | Free Fun in Austin. April is National Poetry Month and it’s a great time to celebrate poetry. There are poetry-themed events and readings happening all over the country. A fun and easy way to bring some poetry into your family’s life this month is to learn about and write an ekphrastic poem! What is an Ekphrastic Poem? An ekphrastic poem is a poem inspired by a work of art.
How to Write an Ekphrastic Poem: Start by finding a painting or sculpture that inspires you. Ideas for writing your poem: Write about the scene you see in the artwork.Think about what the subjects did after the painting. Ready to write your own ekphrastic poem? Click here to download and print your own copy of the ekphrastic poem printable! Guest Blog: 10 Examples of Ekphrasis in Contemporary Literature. By Patrick Smith, Bainbridge State College, Georgia Writers have drawn on vivid descriptions of the visual arts to enhance their work since Homer famously used 130 lines to describe the chronicle emblazoned on Achilles’s shield in Book 18 of Homer’s Iliad more than 2,500 years ago.
Ekphrasis—the representation in language of a work of art—acts as an organizing principle in poetry and fiction, making explicit the connection between art, storytelling, and life. Acting in multiple roles in contemporary literature—both as an interpretive key to a work of art (either real or imagined) and as a descriptive device that enriches narrative and explores the relationship between writer and audience—those descriptions create, Michael Trussler writes, “a kind of ontological miniature that signals a world beyond the confines of the text.” 1. John Ashbery—Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975) 2. 3. Joseph Cornell-style boxes and the trippy, sado-erotic art of H. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Patrick A. Related. Notes on Ekphrasis | Academy of American Poets. Ekphrasis (also spelled “ecphrasis”) is a direct transcription from the Greek ek, “out of," and phrasis, “speech” or “expression.”
It’s often been translated simply as “description," and seems originally to have been used as a rhetorical term designating a passage in prose or poetry that describes something. More narrowly, it could designate a passage providing a short speech attributed to a mute work of visual art. In recent decades, the use of the term has been limited, first, to visual description and then even more specifically to the description of a real or imagined work of visual art.
The use of visual description in poetry is a huge subject, and a good treatment of the topic is found in Carol T. Christ’s study The Finer Optic. Descriptions, in poems, of works of music, cinema, or choreography might also qualify as instances of ekphrasis. So then Homer has imagined a work of art that could not, materially, exist.