Ekphrasis

Despite the school holidays, planning and marking is too never far away so it’s always a a good idea to combine pleasure with the pain wherever you can.  Today I’ve been looking at Ekphrasis  – a technical term to mean a verbal description of a work of art.  My Year 9s have been looking at how to use paintings as a way of creating ideas for writing and have been looking at how poets create a visual picture, so it made sense to combine the two in order to explore how poets have responded to art over the years.

It’s actually exciting to be putting some of my favourite pieces of art in front of them and we’ll be starting with Charles Demuth’s ‘Figure Five in Gold’ alongside a poem by his great friend, William Carlos Williams: The Great Figure.

Figure Five in GoldThe Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
fire truck
moving
tense
unheeded
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city

And, just in case anyone is interested, here are the other art works and poems the students will be using.

Ekphrasis Poems

Next Stop: Southport and the delights of Lowry and Major!

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One comment on “Ekphrasis

  1. […] painting works so beautifully with Sigmund’s words, a perfect example of ekphrasis.  With the viewer’s perspective being high above the scene, we can see what is about to […]

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