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Ekphrastic Poetry

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

I don't know if you know but there's this place called The Ekphrastic Review that has bimonthly ekphrastic poetry challenges. Cool, right? Or maybe you're more like 'wtf is an ekphrastic challenge, that word look like make believe.' I gotchu. Ekphrastic poetry is defined as "a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning" (Poetry Foundation). What it really boils down to is "write a poem based on this painting/drawing/picture/etc.." Easy, right? It's a great way to get inspired to write, 100%. Last week I wrote a bit about definition poems, so I decided to try and write one using the (now) previous Ekphrastic challenge. It was based on this painting:

I decided to play with the word "Innocents" from the title, in part because the word is so counter almost everything that is happening here in this piece (I know it's talking about the kids ya'll). The poem I wrote did make it onto the site, which was an amazing feeling, as it was my first definition poem shared by an outside source, and because it really solidified that experimenting with forms is a positive thing not to be shied away from. This is my ekphrastic poem based on "The Massacre of the Innocents:"

This is the second of two styles of definition poem I've tried out, and I'll be playing more with this form in the future. Of course, check out all the poems chosen for this ekphrastic challenge here, people put a lot of effort and hope into these poems that they send out. They deserve our attention.

Now, of course there's housekeeping, which will be at the end of every post and no longer mentioned in the title 'cause it's bulky, I hate it, and it's my website. This week was a bit cray, in that I was put in 'at home quarantine,' which basically means I was eating in a restaurant at the same time a COVID positive dude was, and that made me a close contact, so the government decided I needed to stay at home for a while so they could make sure I didn't have COVID before releasing me back into the wild. All this to say, my goals got a bit wonky. I had to stay inside for four-ish days and not go anywhere outside my apartment. They were supposed to fix motion detector type device outside my door to make sure I stayed inside, but they didn't. They were also supposed to test me everyday, but they also did not do that so...

But whatever, I'm free as of yesterday! Woo!

So, my goals last week were something like: upkeep my submissions to thirty places, edit my novel, and finish that poetry workshop. What I did: -Edited to 194 pages, yet somehow increased my page count to 212... -Got my subs to 30, yeah! -...Wrote a totally different poem and didn't look at the workshop pieces at all.

A hidden(?!) writing challenge appeared in the middle of the week for work, where they actually pay me for my writing, so I've been polishing up my copy editing and proofreading skills and handling that.

What I aim to do these next seven days:

-Finish my novel. Legit. -Obviously continue my beautiful 30 subs upkeep -Decide on and begin a new large scale writing project, options include: sci-fi, erotica, and/or YA. I have a bunch of writing platforms I want to try out, so we'll see how that goes. Work writing continues this week, so this might be all I aim for in the writing realm as I don't want to burn myself out. I mean, I do have a life to live outside of this.

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