Ekphrastic Writing…part II

 

Two Women

  • De Kooning’s woman flails
  • on the canvas, curses, raves,

blood on her arm.

  • Across from her, Catlett’s sharecropper,
  • face like carved mahogany,

history in its planes, stares

  • sideways out of the frame.
  • A safety pin clinches

her jacket.  Her straw hat gives

  • no shelter from the sun.
  • Her strength is etched

in silence.

  • Submitted by Judith Behar.

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5 Responses to “Ekphrastic Writing…part II”

  1. Rosalyn Marhatta said:

    I was in this class too. I really like this poem. Very evocative.

  2. Veronica Grossi said:

    Poems by Verónica Grossi, inspired on some paintings at the 70 Years of Collecting Exhibit at the Weatherspoon Museum during Ekphrastic Writing Workshop given by Valerie Nieman on February 25, 2011
    “Woman” by Willem De Kooning

    Infinite Sensations

    sharp angles
    cringing
    in rage
    scream
    in motion
    expansion
    of pleasures
    I am
    distortion
    shivering
    stabbing
    at the center
    warm breasts
    in movement
    silent
    explosion
    with pleasure
    dissolution
    in the eyes

    “Mary” by Henry Ossawa Tanner
    I.
    From the dark corner
    I observe
    blues
    that hide in repose
    swilling rivers
    of foam and light
    down my waist
    inundate me
    while I meditate
    the touch
    of this delicate clothe
    soothes me
    in the morning
    I barely wake up
    when I am still observing
    life´s subtle movement of colors.

    II.
    How to translate
    this moment of stillness
    the warm of clothe on my fingers
    I observe
    from this corner
    the quiet
    swillowing foam
    warm, from my waist
    pours down
    in silence
    caressing my feet
    The moment is barely passing
    this pleasure of the early light
    on my lap and feet
    the warm touch
    just perfect
    of this glorious texture of clothe
    the tip of my fingers caress
    the grays become blues
    and cover
    warm earth
    solitude
    in this corner
    where my dreams of sleep continue.

    “In the Woods” by Max Weber

    Wrinkled paper
    traces of thoughts
    and steps
    the bison
    and some branches
    left their mark
    of time
    unintentional
    writings
    make figures
    of dances and signs
    who is to decipher
    these patterns
    of earth and life
    in millennial movement
    escaping the frame?

    “Battleground Point No. 5”
    I.
    Traces of sand
    infinite
    horizon
    of grains
    the I
    no point of reference
    invisible
    contact
    of ochres and blues
    drown
    swallow
    the eyesight
    the air and sand
    float
    and how?

    II.
    the air
    blows
    writings
    patterns
    of sand
    return
    suspended
    the gray
    of water
    suffocates
    my minute
    invisible
    presence
    my pain
    is now
    floating
    fleeting
    clouds
    hover
    and cover me
    I cannot
    grasp
    behold
    from where?
    how?
    the infinite
    opening
    where are the eyes?
    how do we see?

    “Madeleine” by Henri Matisse

    Wrapped around
    in movement
    swing my arm
    and hold onto
    my flesh
    a mass of life
    strong as iron
    in rhythmic swing
    to hold my arm
    my breast
    my thought,
    you my love
    These legs are rooted,
    precious
    myself
    I embrace
    my dearest
    center
    the offspring
    of my flesh
    I behold
    you
    are
    in me.

  3. Rosalyn Marhatta said:

    From Window in the Airshaft by William Anastasi

    Riding the Whale

    By Rosalyn Marhatta

    Rust clings to rectangles

    of iron around glass.

    An airshaft wails as a cat scratches.

    A clothesline hankers

    for the company of clothespins.

    Wallpaper with golden roses

    peels itself away from the wall

    without permission.

    On the other side of the wall,

    the father naps in a brown club chair

    with his head on a doily,

    half hearing “Bi Mir Bis du Schon”

    on the radio.

    The Yiddish newspaper

    slung over his lap moves

    to the rhythm of his snores.

    On the other side of the wall,

    the grandmother drinks

    chamomile tea

    from a cup of roses.

    Her rocking chair

    creaks in hardwood ruts

    and drowns out the static

    of their lives.

    Ghosts flicker in gas lights.

    On the other side of the wall,

    the daughter shakes

    her pincurls

    as she reads Moby Dick

    wondering how she will ever

    see a whale in the middle

    of a New York City tenement.

    Walls crumble as the whale of life

    crashes through their serenity.

    War starts and the brother enlists.

  4. Toni Blackwell said:

    Edward Ruscha – Rain

    Stark towering paper
    Precarious and crinkle crisp
    Folded in the shape
    Of letters
    That spell the name
    Of what will destroy it
    Is it asking? I will answer -
    Yes.
    In the rain
    You will wash away.

  5. Toni Blackwell said:

    Al Held – East Northeast

    Kant said that beauty
    Was not color
    Nor charm
    Only form
    Only form
    This is not form
    But lines
    But inwardly I can see
    I can project
    And suddenly
    I am in the plane
    I am in the space
    A void with nothing but
    Geometric forms
    What is color
    What is sound?
    Or direction?
    In a place where space
    Is infinite
    And crowded with forms
    Not of beauty
    But of pointed perfection
    Not black lines on a white plane
    But planes, yes
    And true lines, vertices, arcs
    But nothing whole
    And nothing broken
    Lines and curves
    surfaces and edges
    And I am in this void
    I am the void

 

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