Well, I’m limping toward home plate, so to speak! This month has been a great exercise in daily writing and revising (it hasn’t been such a great exercise in daily exercise, alas. I’ll need to get physical activity back into my routine!) I hope you’re still reading along! Today’s poem is called Abstract Tree Forms, Emily Carr.
I’ve decided that this final week I’ll work on a series of poems using what is called ekphrasis. Ekphrasis in its most basic definition takes the description of another work of (visual) art as its starting point. This practice has a long history throughout literature dating from the Greeks up through Keat’s Ode on Grecian Urn and even, as my husband pointed out, in music – his example being Queen’s The Fairy-Feller’s Master-Stroke.
I have a massive collection of art postcards that I started collecting in college, and now I intentionally pick out one or two new postcards whenever I visit a new museum. This gives me a lot of options for personally meaningful images to draw from. I decided to write this first one from one of my oldest postcards, which I bought on a visit to the Vancouver art museum when I was visiting my friend Kelli at university there in the late nineties. It was a neat moment because I had just read a Smithsonian magazine article about the artist, Emily Carr, and it just so happened that some of her masterworks were on display nearby at the time of my visit. The postcard I picked up there has been up on many, many office and apartment walls since then, and it was fun to write about it these many years later.
As a reminder, the goal of this project is to help Tupelo raise money for it’s publishing endeavors. If you are able, consider giving $5 on my behalf to help out. Here is the link to their online donation system. Thanks!