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It’s Ek-freakin-phrastic!

July 26, 2011 \pm\31 10:16 pm

Here a quickie for you.

I was reading a little Jacques Prevert and was inspired riding home on the train today. He has a poem titled Last Supper, as I’m sure hundreds of other poets do too. It’s ekphrastic–that is, a poem written about another form of art. I’m not too familiar with this “genre” but I have read a few ekphrastic pieces in my time. People could draw before they could write, but once they could do both, ekphrastic poetry was surely born. Dante, Blake, Auden, O’Hara, Ashbery, and others have progressed the tradition of ekphrasis.

My favorite of the limited few I’ve read is Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Short Story on a Painting of Gustav Klimt.” For years before knowing the poem, The Kiss had been one of my favorite paintings. As Alfred Corn wrote of this poetic sub-genre, “”Once the ambition of producing a complete and accurate description is put aside, a poem can provide new aspects for a work of visual art.” As such, I remember the twist at the end  of Ferlinghetti’s poem and how it changed the painting in my mind forever. You can see both the painting and the poem here.

If anyone has a favorite ekphrastic poem, I’d love to know what it is.

So, below is my own ekphrastic poem, not about The Kiss, but about the Last Supper…And not just any Last Supper, but because I’m a super-fan, Warhol’s Last Supper (which is also the title I’ve chosen).

Warhol’s Last Supper

They’re at the table

Though, not eating,

Their condition is

Hungry for something.

Each and every empty plate,

Unseen behind their heads held straight,

As they dish about their waiter’s fate.

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3 Comments
  1. July 27, 2011 \pm\31 2:41 pm 2:41 pm

    Nicely done!

  2. July 27, 2011 \pm\31 10:08 pm 10:08 pm

    nice.. i have to say. the kiss poem by Ferlinghetti.. -amazing-.. thanks for sharing

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