Monday, May 7, 2007


{Illustration: Shield of Achilles}

Ekphrasis was the original title of Souvenir, my poem in this blog's first post. I don’t, as rule, and I have a lot of rules, write poems about art. Poets have done that, Ode to a Grecian Urn and such, but I decided a long time ago not to make them that way. Ah, a scruple. Anyway, Ekphrasis refers to making poems about art, Virgil’s description of Achilles’ shield is used as an example. I don’t know why Homer’s isn’t used. Anyway, anyway, I wrote out Souvenir pegging it to movies, the Bible, rock and roll, television shows, and Andre Norton’s book Starman’s Son. And all those terrible things I thought would come to pass if I broke my rule have come to pass, as now there’s this blog.

Ekphrasis poems are okay to write but they totally come apart if the reader isn’t familiar with the artwork being referenced.

Within the confines of this blog I’ll have ekphrasis poems stemming off from TV mostly, and it’s kindof satisfying to do them, but sourcing from what ends up under the bird in the cage, likely means the poems will have a similar fate.

I catch myself working the sentiments of my poems into my day-to-day conversations, and they are not crafted or fashioned, except to the extent that I’m trying to make myself understood, as everyone does.

I read a discussion contemplating why people like difficult poems, and it’s true, readers will respect a sentiment fashioned in a poem more than they will one in prose, especially journalistic prose, or in just talking. Poems trump prose and talk—songs trump poems. And Shakespeare’s verse plays trump everything. Notice Shakespeare left behind no prose that I know of, and his plays are based mostly on classical history, or past English history.

Tree in the Door
May 7, 2007

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