Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ekphrastic Poetry: Student Examples



Works in process:


The Father’s Blessing - Shana
The sun
Hiding behind the tall brave trees
The houses
Reflecting upon the river waters
The road
Sloping downwards onto a bridge
Three girls
Resting upon the dusty bridge
Their thoughts
Mesmerized by their calm reflections
Their dresses
Highlighted by every color
Their eyes
Sparkling from the bright sun rays
Their minds
Filled with the memory of their past calm days
Their souls
Cleansed with peace
Their Father
Gazed from afar
His heart
Filled with depression
He knew
That his death was near
He knew
That he had to say goodbye
His eyes
Slowly closed
His mind
  Recited his prayer:
Let them be beautiful
Let them they be loved
Let them to forever be able to gaze out on to the calm waters as long as they live
Let my three beautiful daughters
Be happy






The Dog - Katherine

Dog.
Matted fur.
Weak, trembling legs.
He sits.

His fur melts into the soil.
His eyes dilate in fear.
Eyes the color of milk chocolate.
Eyes that have seen too much.

Butterfly.
Drooped, damaged wings.
Wings mimicking the petals of a rose.
It sits.

It sits next to the dog in silence.
In peace, and serenity, no violence.


Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning
by Katherine

Up ahead, there used to be a little boy.
He would run up and down the concrete pavement.
Laughing and screaming and bringing happiness throughout the street.

But not anymore.

Now the only sound that can be heard is the wind howling in agony,
And broken windows banging and creaking in pain.
And sometimes.. very rarely, a car will pass by and leave as quickly as it arrives.
Radio blasting as it dissolves into the horizon.

In the morning, there used to be a striped orange cat.
Delicate and small,
It would scavenge over the stale bread that the baker would toss to him.

But not anymore.

Now the cat has died.
Starved to death,
And nestled in the corner of the bakery.
As if sleeping, quiet and peaceful,
It rests in its everlasting slumber.

One year ago, this block was once filled with life, happiness, and joy.
It was once something that people called home.

But not anymore.

Now everyone has left and has found a new home.
A new life, and new ambitions.
But deep in their hearts, wherever they go,
This block will always be their home.




My Good Friend
By: Shana
Goodnight moon
I’ll see you again tomorrow
When I open the curtains
And you light up my room once more

When I open my mouth to speak
I know you’ll be there, listening
When you tell me a story
I’ll be there too, listening

When you are happy
You don’t show it much
But on your face
I see a dimly lit smile

No matter what I feel, I’ll always know
That you my friend, will be with me wherever I go


 - Kiana 
Based on Where the Wild Things Are
Written by Maurice Sendak
And then Max said “Be still!”
And everything suddenly became still.
All of the chaos stopped,
the wild things were still.
The wild things were quiet,
there was peacefulness on the land.
Calmness everywhere Max went to.
Even almost serenity.
Max had tamed the wild things,
Using a powerful trick with his eyes.
He stared into their yellow eyes
Without even blinking once.
This was when Max was called the wildest thing of all.
The wild things would come when Max would call.



The Fragile Castle (a Poem)  - Hannah

Time goes by
And the castle ages
It’s secret written
Within many pages

Hidden in the castle
Lays the book of life
It is unwritten
Unless you choose to write

And the castle stands
With many different forts
Though the outside is strong
Inside it hurts

Be gentle with the castle
Because it is fragile








The Girl I Left Behind Me
Eastman Johnson


The Tempest - Angelina

Staring out
Across the roaring sea of hills
The tufts of grass – the sea foam,
Cresting upon the hills.

I glare in desperation –
The little house sneers
Impossible to reach
                                         As I stand in the midst of the storm.                

The tempest rages
But not here
Not yet
For it is above the clouds,
Over the hills,
Beyond the heaps of rock topped with snow.

For it is about to crash
The tipping point
My brow furrows, expression darkens
Like the illuminous clouds
Spiraling above me in their surging tango.


One foot before me,
My deep, blood-colored cloak
Billows about my legs
I slip off my hat
‘Fore the winds dare snatch it skyward.

My grip falls slack
About the tome
Flaxen locks from my face are torn.
Bracelet skidding down my wrist
…I cannot decide where to go.

The house
It jeers
A fake salvation
Averting my eyes
I gather my skirts.

The collar cute into my neck
As I fall,
Mud soiling my dress
Beneath the grassless hill.

The moss looks damp
Beneath my feet
I walk, then crawl
Into a small crevice.

And watch
As leaves, then branches fly
Towards the house,
While I am safe.

Within the rabbit hole,
I dream
Of Wonderlands
While outside,
The cyclone roars.



Friendship - Sarah

The smiles overwhelm the background
The waves roll in happily- reflecting their emotions
The sun radiates off the waters, bring light to the world
Happiness is the only emotion there is
Lost in the smiles and rays of light
The mountains gleam behind the water
Boats float on the peaceful lake
And the happy onlookers laugh and cheer
Slowly and lightly the waves crash against their feet
This feeling adds to their wide smiles
Inside their hearts was simple peace
The warmth and peace in their hearts forever










To Wait - Sarah
The early morning sun unravels the emptiness of the quiet streets
The shadows are the only matter absorbing the light
They stretch across the street; never seeming to end
Not a single head pops out from behind the bright yellow shades

The fire hydrant discusses its early morning problems with the rising barber pole
Where do I belong?
When will I become useful?
Is this my purpose? To sit here and wait?

The pole does not seem to respond
It just stands, in the glory of the sun
Waiting on the quiet streets of the morning
Waiting for the empty shadows of life

Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning
Oil on canvas.





New York City  - Kiana, 13
As I walk through New York City, I see many things, but what stands out the most are the lights.
There are lights of all different colors, shapes, and sizes. They are all huge advertisements that make the city stand out, they make the city special.
Why do people leave New York City? When you’re in New York, it seems as if you want to stay there forever.
But people have jobs to get back to, and their extremely boring lives. Most people do try to get back to this gorgeous and exciting city as soon as they can.

Pieter Brueghel, Hunters in the Snow (1565)

Oil on canvas, 46 inches x 63.75 inches. 
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.



Hunters in the Snow - Kiana, 13
It is growing dark out, and my coworkers and I are getting home.
It snowed last night, so the snow is still fresh.
I exhale, and can see my short breath in the air.
My partners and I are now trudging downhill.
We see many ice skating families and kids having fun.
Laughter and joy is in the air, but not for us.
All that my companions and I want to do is get home.
Its been a long and tough day, and we have already walked four miles.
Our hands are freezing, but we will almost be at rest in our small houses.
It smells fresh outside, probably because of the fresh fallen snow.
I reach down to touch the snow, it is very chilly.
We pass the ice skaters and happy kids.
My coworkers and I separate to get to our houses.
I’m finally home, finally at rest




Edward Hopper, Girl at Sewing Machine (c. 1921)
Oil on canvas, 19 inches x 18 inches. 
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.


The Girl at the Sewing Machine - Hannah, 13


Long days
She sits
With the cloth
That binds her life

Her hands
Her delicate hands
Carefully weave the cloth
Slowly lacing her life

No
No

The cloth does not define her life
The cloth does not decide her fate
The cloth decides her every living moment
For when her life ends
Her living will continue
And never will she reach death
So long as she’s spinning

The birds will continue chirping
And the sun will rise and set
And the girl that continues sewing
Will never meet her death


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