Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aren't They a Lovely Couple?

Bloggers: Here it is, your very first ekphrastic assignment for the blog! Spend some time first staring at the painting, "entering" it (as much as you can, albeit it's on a computer screen), writing down your thoughts, ideas, emotional reactions, colors, images, narratives, anything that comes to mind.

Then, you must write a poem in response to this painting, with the following caveat: you must follow ALL FIVE rules I have listed below. It's going to be fabulous.

1. You must include the following words in the poem: horse, boxcar, red, frost, bellow.

2. You may NOT include the following words: love, veil, kiss, beauty, caress. (I can't stand the word "caress." It was once the name of a bath bar, after all.)

3. The poem should exceed 14 lines but stay under 25. Alas, that means no haikus, no limericks.

4. The poem should not employ direct end rhymes in a pattern. End rhymes are the ones that happen at the end of the lines: "Roses are red, violets are blue, I don't like end rhymes, and neither should you." Try to work with another kind of form; surprise yourself.

5. Include a setting for the poem -- give us a sense of the place. It does not necessarily have to be the place depicted in the painting; you might set us in a very different landscape. But give us a sense of location through description.

Go forth, have a marvelous time! Your poems should be posted before 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

Blog responders: Your job, after the poems are posted on the blog on Friday, is to select two of them to which you will respond. Your response (in the comment section) should tell the poet what you find striking/interesting/strong in the poem, and it should offer the poet some suggestions about where the poem might go from here, what you would like to see more of, what strikes you as needing more development. These responses should be at least a good paragraph. Your comments on TWO poems are due before 6:00 on Monday, May 25.

(Image from Mark Harden's Artchive)

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