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NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompt 19: Ekphrastics!

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Difficulty Level 2/5

Don’t panic; I know that word up there sounds pretty fancy. But an ekphrastic poem is pretty straightforward: write a poem about or in response to a piece of art.

 Your task today is to write a poem about one of the two following pieces of art:

The Passage of Delaware, by Thomas Sully, 1819.

The Passage of Delaware, by Thomas Sully, 1819.

OR

Mona Lisa, by Leonardo DaVinci 

Mona Lisa, by Leonardo DaVinci 

Challenge yourself to do more than just describe the painting. Tell a story about what happened before or after the moment of the painting. Tell it from the subject’s point of view or as an omniscient narrator. Be silly, like these captions on The Toast (warning: some salty language at that link). Or be serious, like William Carlos Williams on Brueghel’s famous painting of Icarus falling from the sky:

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1558

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1558

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
William Carlos Williams

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

unsignificantly
off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning


Have you registered for the Poem-A-Thon yet? Sign up to write poems and raise money for the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council today! And don't forget to send us your poems for publication on this here blog: flashbangwriting@gmail.com.