This is the twenty-seventh installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here.
An ekphrasis is a written description or commentary on a visual work of art. Writers have long been using visual art as inspiration for poetry and prose. “One of the earliest and most commonly cited forms of ekphrasis occurs in The Iliad, when Homer provides a long and discursive account of the elaborate scenes embossed on the shield of Achilles” (Merriam-Webster). Many literary journals host ekphrasis contests, and some are even devoted entirely to ekphrases. Currently, Rattle, is hosting a monthly contest. They provide the artwork; you provide the poem.
- Examine the painting “And the Wolf” by Laura Jenson, Rattle’s current ekphrastic subject. Observe, observe, observe.
- Choose one of the following writing prompts. Don’t worry about producing a poem at first-go. Maybe you just list phrases or draw a concept map. If you only have 10 minutes, this exercise will still have its benefits of creative play.
- Write about your experience viewing the art, for example, a memory the artwork evokes.
- Write a monologue coming from a voice inside the artwork.
- Write about the scene depicted.
- Write to the artist or subject of the painting (in second person, using “you”).
- If you’re excited about what you produced, submit it to Rattle’s contest (deadline April 30, 2017).
How did you do? Did spending time observing the painting bring your mind to a different state? More relaxed, focused, imaginative? Did the painting encourage a new voice to emerge in your writing?
To encourage each other and grow a community of Curious Creatives, sign in from a google account so you can share your creation in the comment boxes below. Also, if you subscribe to this blog (submit your email address in the "Follow this Site by Email" box to the right), you will get an email update whenever a new exercise is added. Thanks for playing!