Friday, November 06, 2015

Edphrastic Poetry with the Seven Sisters

This month my Poetry Sisters and I decided to try Ekphrastic poetry, which is simple poetry written in response to an image or work of art. Tanita found this amazing image, and we all wrote about it in whatever form we chose. I reverted to blank verse, having defaulted to my old favorite. The image is taken from a tumblr blog linked here. The original blog posting (Carnival of Dogs) gave this information:

"Documentation of the installation
Susanne Ussing, I Drivhuset, installed at Ordrupgaardsamlingen 1980.
Galleri Tom Christoffersen

Dear Alice

Bricks laid
around her feet &
spiderwebs of steel
adorning her head; this
goddess of paper mache
looks with horror
at an arm of tin,
a leg of wood.
She wonders.
Made to be encased;
or sheltered after the fact?

             -Andromeda Jazmon 

Visit the blogs of my Poetry Sisters and see what they made for this image:

- Celebrating a 9th blog anniversary!

And be sure to check out the Friday Poetry round up hosted by Katya at


John Sibley said...

Very nice!

cb hanek said...

Thank you for sharing your free verse, and for defining "Edphrastic poetry"--new to me. Thank you, too, for providing information about the image. Most of all, thank you for your succinctly descriptive verse whose reflexive last lines especially made me smile: "Made to be encased; or sheltered after the fact?" Good thing or not?...Isn't that a question so many of our circumstances cause us to wonder/perhaps to ponder (if we're poets:) God bless you! Thanks!

Author Amok said...

I like how your poem closes with a (chicken or the egg) question. It's a striking sculpture.

Linda Baie said...

Amazing installation, and your poignant poem shows the emotion she might feel about the world in which she finds herself. I like that you have her wondering.

jama said...

What an image! Wonderful poem; like those spiderwebs of steel and final line especially.

Sara said...

Wow. That is one great question you end with:
Made to be encased;
or sheltered after the fact?

Also, I see now that her leg IS wood. I thought it was copper at first glance. How wonderful it would be to see this in person. Even to let the artist know how we've responded to her work. (And thanks for finding the original source of the photo.)

Carmela Martino said...

I saw the image first at Laura's blog, but I can see it much better here. Love your free verse reflection on "this goddess of paper mache." Thanks!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Love the tone you set in this poem, and those "spiderwebs of steel"!

laurasalas said...

Oh, I love this. Sometimes it's hard to know whether you're being protected or held hostage. Sometimes I feel this way about writing, in fact!

Liz in Ink said...

Oh this is SO personal, intimate, even -- with the title, and the question at the end. It's lovely, Andi -- thank you....

Tricia said...

I love that you start with Dear Alice. You've made this an epistle and an ekphrastic poem! I don't know why epistle terrified me so. I found this image tough to write about/to, but you have done such marvelous work. I love that you cut to the chase and ask the hard question. I also love that you describe her so beautifully, even as she looks on in horror.

Mary Lee said...

Your question-end makes this very evovocative.

Mary Lee said...

Encased or sheltered. I guess it depends on whether you are inside the glass house, or outside of it, eh?

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

Thanks for all these kind comments, friends. Every time I look at the image I see my question, so I just couldn't escape it in the poem. ;) And Trisha, I actually forgot about the epistle plan until you pointed that out! LOL poetry is so complex!

Bridget Magee said...

Wow, what an image and poem! I agree, your question at the end allows me, the reader, to linger longer on the image to imagine an answer. =)