The Ekphrastic Review‘s editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, chose Carousel, a 1906 painting by Ukrainian artist Olexandr Murashko, as a prompt for a recent Ekphrastic Writing Challenge. I am honored that my poem In Kyiv is among those chosen for publication. It is the third response listed. I encourage you to read all the responses, as well as Lorette’s poignant opening note. As always, comments are welcome.
The Ekphrastic Review has a regular series of Ekphrastic Writing Challenges, in which they post a piece of visual art and invite writers to respond to it. I have had several poems published in this way.
Here is a link to the artwork and response pieces for the most recent challenge, “The Two Sisters” by Théodore Chassériau (France) 1843. Among them is a poem by Kyle Laws, fellow Boiler House Poets Collective member and ekphrastic writer extraordinaire!
My piece was not chosen in this go-round, but I thought I’d share it here. Enjoy!
Is it the matching outfits
that proclaim sisterhood –
my sisters and I in pale
yellow with coordinating
hats and gloves
for Easter mass –
my daughters in black
velvet with lacework collars
in a rare formal portrait –
my granddaughters in rainbow-
in pandemic London –
or is it the dimples
that appear with smiles
the entwined arms
the mischievous glance?
I am happy to announce that I have a new poem available online. I mentioned in this post that I had written and submitted a poem to The Ekphrastic Review in response to their biweekly challenge, a painting by Jean-Francois Millet titled “The Angelus”. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, ekphrastic poetry or prose is a piece based on another work of art, most often a piece of visual art. I have written a number of ekphrastic poems, due in large part to my experiences in residence at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art with the Boiler House Poets Collective.
The poems that Lorette C. Luzajic, the editor and founder of The Ekphrastic Review, selected are now available online here. It’s always amazing to see the creative and unique approach that each writer takes from the same prompt. There are certain elements that weave among the poems. I’m especially pleased that Kyle Laws, my poet-friend from Boiler House, also has a poem chosen for this challenge. Kyle writes ekphrastic poetry on a regular basis and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Ekphrastic Review. It’s her eighth Pushcart nomination! It is an honor for me to be included with such distinguished poets and writers.
A note on my poem: The italicized lines are parts of the English translation of the Angelus prayer. The Catholic church I attended as a child observed the tradition of ringing the bells in a distinctive pattern three times a day to encourage people to pray the Angelus. The painting and the prayer inspired me to construct a narrative around the woman who appears in the painting.
If you are so moved, you may comment here or on the Top of JC’s Mind Facebook page.
On Friday, the Smith College Alumnae Chorus and our travelling companions visited Piran, a beautiful, historic town on the Adriatic coast of Slovenia. Slovenia, before its independence in 1991, had spent centuries under the dominance of other entities. Piran shows the influence of its time as part of the Venetian republic.
The main square has a statue of Italian composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini, whose birthplace, now a historic landmark, is on the piazza.
As you would expect, some of the streets, now used as footpaths, are very narrow.
Consequently, the cars are very small by US standards. (For scale, I am 5’1.5″ or 156 cm.)
We walked up to the Church of St. George, shown here from Tartini Square.
The baptistry is the small, octagonal building whose roof you see to the right of the belltower, which is itself a smaller replica of the tower of St. Mark’s in Venice.
The restoration of the church is amazing! The wall on the left has a sculpture of St. George slaying the dragon.
The ceilings were especially eye-catching.
Because I was an organist, B took a special photo of the organ.
A path leads down from the church to the point and lighthouse.
Piran affords views of the coast of Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia.
We loved our visit to Piran and definitely recommend including it in your itinerary if you visit Slovenia.
With everything that has been going on, I hadn’t had any poems published for a long time. I’m pleased to tell you that I do have a new poem published today in The Ekphrastic Review. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, ekphrastic poems are ones that are based on another work of art. The Ekphrastic Review, edited by Lorette C. Luzajic, publishes poems inspired by visual art.
The Ekphrastic Review also offers ekphrastic challenges. They post an artwork on their website and invite writers to submit a poem or short prose piece in response. A selection of these pieces appears on their website along with the artwork that inspired them.
I submitted a response to “In Equipoise” by Teresa Vito of Pueblo, Colorado (USA), chosen by Kyle Laws, guest editor for the challenge. The ever-creative Kyle Laws arranged her selections into an amazing chapbook. I am honored that the tanka I submitted was chosen as a “breath” among longer poems.
The link is http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/ekphrastic-challenge-responses-teresa-vito. Enjoy!
Lorrie Sandel Lane and I met at Haven House at Smith College. She was the class following mine. She studied English and studio art, but has made her career as a painter.
We have some commonalities in our lives. Lorrie married a few weeks after I did and celebrated her 33rd wedding anniversary earlier this year, as B and I did. We both named our firstborn daughters Elizabeth. And we both turned rather unexpectedly to poetry in our fifties.
I want to share a painting and poem of Lorrie’s today. It was posted on her literary page on Facebook, which is available to “like” as well as her art page. (See, I engage in shameless promotion for other people, too.)
In honor of US National Poetry Month:
Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard and poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen.
– Leonardo da Vinci
Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesday! Details here: http://lindaghill.com/2015/04/08/one-liner-wednesday-life-is-too-short/