Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Sunday Mini-Challenge

And here we are, the first Sunday of January is already upon us. Last week, I asked for suggestions and volunteers to keep our Mini-Challenges fresh and interesting and I'm happy to report that we have some wonderful new ideas and guest appearances lined up for you.


Day and Night by M.C. Escher
1938


One suggestion came from Hedgewitch, when she mentioned the possibility of the occasional Ekphrasis challenge. Ekphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, 'out' and 'speak' respectively, and as a verb it means to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name. Ekphrasis has been considered, generally, to be a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form, and in doing so, relate more directly to the audience, through its illuminative liveliness. (wiki)


Mother and Child by M.C. Escher
1921


Our challenge is to view an artwork and speak out about it through the medium of poetry.  For this purpose, I have selected the art of M.C. Escher, a Dutch Surrealist. His subjects range from portraits, landscapes, city scapes and he has a  style of optical art all his own. I have given a few examples here, but invite you to view the gallery of his art provided here, on wikipaintings.org. Most of the images are copyrighted but displayed under fair use principles. Select a piece that speaks to you, and invites poetic expression.


Puddle by M.C. Escher
1952


Here are a few examples of Ekphrasis poems from both Hedgewitch and me, for those who would like to take a look before getting stuck into their own.

Still Life Reviving by Joy Ann Jones

Piquee by Joy Ann Jones

Thoughts on Magritte's Lovers by Kerry O'Connor

Sylvia by Kerry O'Connor


The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at noon CST to allow extra time for the creative process, so please do not link up old work which kind of fits the image.  This is in the spirit of our Real Toads project to create opportunities for poets to be newly inspired.  Management reserves the right to remove unrelated links but invites you to share a poem of your choice on Open Link Monday.





19 comments:

hedgewitch said...

Kerry, I'm so glad you liked the idea, and you couldn't have picked a cooler artist to write to(well for me anyway) I will brood over some Escher and see what comes up.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm glad you approve ;-)

aprille said...

This chap has always scared me. I never learned to like him. Must be a powerful artist to elicit this kind of feeling.

Ella said...

I'm intrigued! I look forward to playing with this medium! Thank you Joy and Kerry :D

Emma Major said...

my favorite favorite favorite artist, I'mgoing to write at least three poems though I know I won't do his work the justice it deserves. thanks for such a great challenge. should I link up each one individually?

hedgewitch said...

Not sure if I captured any 'illuminative liveliness' but I did have fun. Thanks for this, Kerry. I'll be around in the morning to see what everyone comes up with. Thanks Hannah and Sherry, for stopping by to read Still Life Reviving.

Hannah said...

My pleasure, Hedge!! I loved it!

I loved THIS!! Such a fun challenge...I really enjoyed looking at all the work of MC Escher...such cool art!

I'm excited for the months to come with all that's in store for these challenges!

This prompt response was my 700th post! :)'s

Susan said...

Funny that this was so much fun! Trying to write about peace in a fresh new way has been so hard that I abandoned all here until breaking freedom into 3 feet per line with rhyme to capture some of the feel math that paces Escher's tessellation! Thanks for this Joy and Kerry.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Congrats on your 700th post, Hannah. That is an amazing achievement in blogging!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Please could siggiofmaine link the URL of the exact poem for this challenge and not the whole blog page. Thank you.

Fireblossom said...

I love this mini-challenge, and when I went to the page with the Escher artwork, one in particular immediately flew up to me and insisted that I write what it chirped to me.

Emma Major said...

andhere is my second and third poems on the theme http://llmcalling.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/night-and-day.html and http://llmcalling.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-strange-loop.html. loving this week's challenge

my heart's love songs said...

i LOVE ekphrasis poetry! often a painting or photograph will inspire my poem, but i don't often write more specifically about the painting itself.

i'll be in and out visiting.

i hope the new year is going well for everyone so far!

my heart's love songs said...

i forgot to mention, Joy's poem "Still Life Reviving" is possibly my all-time favorite of her poems!

Kim Nelson said...

Love Escher! Used an excerpted image from one of my paintings as springboard.

Margaret said...

Just got back from snow tubing and spending time in the mountains. Exhausted, trying to keep up with the kids is NOT easy. Enjoyed this prompt... and missed a few great ones while I was gone. Hope to backtrack a bit, but that is easier said than done! :)

Manicddaily said...

Hi Kerry - I sort of cheated and did two short poems since the first one grew from the Escher but had very little to do with it. Thanks, as always, for your wonderful prompts. Hope the new year is going well for you.

k.

Margaret said...

I will be back to comment ... fell sick AGAIN!! Please forgive me as I really do like to participate...

Nia Ceridwyn said...

I wrote a piece based on the last image many months ago, so I'm just posting that one here, as it's still an apt description I think. If this isn't cool, let me know and I'll set pen to paper again!

By the by, I adore Escher and might look more into his works for poem inspiration. Thanks for the poke!