Ekphrastics

No, they’re not acrostics–ekphrastics (sometimes spelled ecphrastics–but doesn’t it seem more Greek with the k?) are written descriptions of a graphic work of art. Perhaps the most famous ekphrastic poem is Auden’s “Musee des Beaux Arts,” about Breughel’s painting, The Fall of Icarus, in which you can just see his leg to the right of the boat¬†as he falls into the water, but no one is paying particular attention:

Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
Continue reading “Ekphrastics”