Today’s challenge is to write an Ekphrasis poem. An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning. A notable example is “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” in which the poet John Keats speculates on the identity of the lovers who appear to dance and play music, simultaneously frozen in time and in perpetual motion. The piece of art chosen is the Centaur’s kiss by George Leonnec as depicted below:
Often have I walked past this painting,
each time, seeing a unique aspect and ratio.
I can only guess at the artist’s intention,
vacillate in the depths of my observation.
In moment’s when I feel suffocation
has throttled the air from my lungs,
when worry, worms through my brain,
this is salve for my bleeding wounds.
I am transported in time and place
where Wind was Caution’s favorite child,
where judgment’s gavel did not fall,
Imagination borrowed extended wings.
The freedom of spirit I see before me,
galloping completely untethered,
without fear of danger, risk or cost,
is the reverie that frequently absorbs me.
I smell the sweet scent of romance
as it’s violet fragrance floats in the air.
Passion wins the race with no shame
though reason remains in the game.
On bleak days I see a different portrait.
I hear the gossip and feel the bigotry,
of those who do not understand
that we’re all half animal, half woman and man.
That sometimes our base instincts prevail,
when we’re meant to be who we must be,
where love governs all things, regardless
of race, colour, nationality, gender or creed.
Without understanding the full context,
this is a single frame, isolated from the next.