Ekphrastic Poetry

Many thanks to Painters & Poets for publishing three of my ekphrastic poems.

My daily poems for the past several days have been skinny stanzas of thirteen lines each that meditate on different aspects of Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column. Theoretically the poem, like the sculpture, could go on forever. This poem, from last Wednesday, is based on Brancusi’s Beginning of the World and Sleeping Muse:

Constantin Brancusi, Sculpture for the Blind (Beginning of the World), marble, 1916, source: WikiPaintings

Constantin Brancusi, Sculpture for the Blind (Beginning of the World), marble, 1916, source: WikiPaintings

With your head lying on this table where all humanity is capsized, what do you see
– Artaud

Which worlds emerge
and which fall away
depends on how the head rolls
over the tabletop.
Is she sleeping or unborn?
And if unborn is she an egg
of consciousness?
Shall we paint her features
or wait for our own
to appear as if in polished brass?
Poised between two worlds
she is the seed
of our becoming
out of ruins
into the new

Constantin Brancusi, Sleeping Muse II, bronze, 1917, source: WikiPaintings

Constantin Brancusi, Sleeping Muse II, bronze, 1917, source: WikiPaintings

Here’s a better view of Sleeping Muse

 

 

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5 Responses to Ekphrastic Poetry

  1. Brendan says:

    What an excellent form to work in, ship-shape, like a bullet or scythe, humbly proportioned to remind us that this work of art owes its existence to another. The Artaud quote gives it a nice wobble. How many of these have you written? Seems similar to sketch- or painting series that finds a fresh vantage in each installment. Dreaming through all of the rooms.

    • Without that wobble this rather poor poem would not exist. Actually the Artaud quote is far more interesting on its own than the poem, or with the poem. This might be the worst poem I’ve ever posted. But I’m in the middle of a love affair with Brancusi right now….

      I have 4 parts of the Endless Column poem so far, but plan to have many more.

  2. angela says:

    I had forgotten about this form of poetry ~ it inspires the mind. Care not what you said to Brendan, for I find it an amazing contemplation on the objects and words at hand. ~

  3. ManicDdaily says:

    Just beautiful, Mark–lovely sense of phoenix here–and beautiful Brancusi’s–great choices, thanks. k.

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