by Louise Robertson


Today’s form is the ekphrastic poem. Ekphrastic poetry comments on another art form, a picture, a movie, a novel, whatever.

When I think of ekphrastic poems, the first thing I do is wonder is if I spelled that right. The second is to scoff a little and the third is to remember that one of my most successful poems was ekphrastic. (For those who know my work, “Last Thought” aka that twin poem is ekphrastic.) And the fourth is to realize these are a really good way to create a prompt for yourself.

The prompt is to take a picture, movie, novel, or song and write about it. I often think the danger is to get too far into describing the object of the poem without actually writing a new poem. The worry is that one might infringe on the artist’s intentions. And the beauty is when you find your own story, message, or meaning from the piece of art and can take off from there and creature an independent piece of art.

I can’t really promote a featured poet today because one doesn’t always know that the poem came from another piece of art. (Please comment with great examples, if you have them.)

But I will give you sources to track down material for making ekphrastic poems:

Comic books

A museum walk




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