PROMPT #354 – EDWARD HOPPER

It seems the paintings and works of artist Edward Hopper are great fodder to inspire other artists in their endeavors. We as poets have come across this from time to time. Many an Ekphrastic poem has sprung from these offerings. Some show the desolation of the human condition, or the interaction of the same.

Today I offer three such works for your poetic interpretation:

“Room in New York”
by Edward Hopper
“Hotel By a Railroad”
by Edward Hopper
“Sunday”
by Edward Hopper

Each painting expresses something and it’s your job to relate what it says to you. Choose one and tell us what you see!

MARIE’S VISION:

Room in New York (An American Sentence)

Here she has a house, but longs to be there, even if in one small room. 

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

#seventeensyllables

WALT’S VIEW:

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
The man had many hang ups,
and this one will have him hung over
all day. Another Sunday with nary 
a prayer on his lips, but plenty of
Jack Daniel’s on his breath.
He curses God for his lack of strength
in battling his demons, for they’ve
cost him his job and his family.
Responsibility was never his, 
and he wasn’t laying claim to this.
On any given Sunday you’ll find him
pissing his life away; he thinks
he’s keeping his demons at bay.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

PICTURE THIS – EKPHRASTIC POETRY 3

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

WALT’S OFFERING:

EYES LIKE A HAWK

I sit and purvey from my perch on high,
spying the horizon and the rising tide.
I'm here on my branch for a chance to rest
before life's journey comes to a close.
You'd suppose I could see as clearly from the sky,
but my eyes aren't what they used to be.
Sometimes I can see in the finest detail
without fail; sometimes the tiniest things
escape me. So here I will stand to scan
what nature has to offer in my hit and miss
world. Every bird of prey has its day.
It appears mine is a Wednesday.
I'll be watching, and if you're not careful,
I'll be snatching you up in my talons.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

PICTURE THIS – EKPHRASTIC POETRY 2

Photo by Enric Cruz Lu00f3pez on Pexels.com

WALT’S EFFORT:

STRANGER ON THE SHORE

Here I stand watching the tide go out.
There is no doubt your memory lives here, and I’m
So all alone and blue just dreaming dreams of you.
You linger in each moment that haunts my mind.

I watched your ship as it sailed out to sea,
the gentle waves complicit in your departure.
Taking all my dreams and taking all of me,
leaving nothing but this shell of a man, unsure.

The sighing of the waves
sounds like the sighs of you,
The wailing of the wind
fills my sails alone.
The tears in my eyes burn
and I yearn for one more look,
Pleading, “My love, return”,
a happy ending to our book.

Why, oh, why must I go on like this?
I hunger for your kiss, your breath of love.
Shall I just be a lonely stranger on the shore?
Darling, how I miss my angel from above.

Why, oh, why must I go on like this?
Return to me in bliss, and share our love again.
Shall I just be a lonely stranger on the shore,
Or truly a man in love to share his heart again.

**The italicized lines are the original lyrics written by Mr. Acker Bilk for his composition “Stranger on the Shore”

Intertwined lines (C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik

****

The term ekphrastic (also spelled ecphrastic) is a Greek expression meaning – description. Using details, writers in ancient Greece attempted to put words to visual mediums. Before long, poets went beyond description to explore deeper meanings. Today, the word ekphrastic can refer to a literary response to a non-literary work.

So, in a sense, Ekphrastic poetry explores art. The poet/writer engages with a painting, drawing, sculpture, or any form of visual art. Poetry about music and dance could also be seen as a type of ekphrastic writing.

Use the above photograph as the emphasis for your poem.

PICTURE THIS… EKPHRASTIC POETRY 1


Children image via www.shutterstock.com

WALT’S OFFERING:

GIVING DIRECTION

Sailing through life.
A tumultuous trek full 
of waves and high winds
wreaking havoc on waters once docile.

Our destination is not quite clear.

We search, but it can’t be seen from here,
but at the end of that horizon
lies the end of the horizon.

You’ll ask yourself: Did I love?

Fully; unconditionally?
There was never a price on love,
but its value was infinite.

Yet, we pose to give love away.

That is to say that what we dispatch,
should match what we receive, and do not believe
the blessings you bestow on others

do not flow back to you. They do.
It is true. Love is the compass 
of life’s journey. If you value love
and give your love away, you’re well on your way.

Love leads to love.
It gives us our direction.
Value love! Ahoy!

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

***

The term ekphrastic (also spelled ecphrastic) is a Greek expression meaning – description. Using details, writers in ancient Greece attempted to put words to visual mediums. Before long, poets went beyond description to explore deeper meanings. Today, the word ekphrastic can refer to a literary response to a non-literary work.

So, in a sense, Ekphrastic poetry explores art. The poet/writer engages with a painting, drawing, sculpture, or any form of visual art. Poetry about music and dance could also be seen as a type of ekphrastic writing.

Use the above photograph as the emphasis for your poem.

PROMPT #216 – PANDORA’S BOX

Photo: Shutterbox - Public Domain

Photo: Shutterbox – Public Domain

Hey Pandora! What’s in the box? Good or bad, there’s something in there dying to come out. It could be a blessing. It might be a curse. The photo itself may inspire a totally different thought. Use your ekphrastic abilities to let us know. What’s in the box?

MARIE’S REVEAL:

LOCKED

Out of fear
(or worse  —  indifference)
she waited too long
to unlock the trunk she daily
(habitually)
avoided. Tripped over. Pretended wasn’t there.

Summoning the courage, she unlocked it.
Discovered a long-lost page.
Dulled.  Faded. Not easily read.
Less easily understood.

For times had changed,
and, therefore,
the truths that had shaped them.

Right?

As she tried to examine
and understand,
she began to question

everything.

Perhaps wrong paths had been taken.
Destructive habits had formed.

Perhaps what was true, then,
was no less true, now.

Perhaps times change,
but truths remain.

Perhaps it was up to her
to unlock

release

embrace.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

 

 

WALT’S EXPOSURE:

SECRETS KEPT AND HIDDEN, by Walter J Wojtanik

No one knows.
And the best-kept secret remains as such.
How much is it worth to know things
that your heart can confirm,
but you cannot communicate,
this declaration of fact lies hidden.
Distance spanned and water
under the bridge between then and now.
How do you live a life with this burden?
They couldn’t know; you gave no indications,
your stagnation and debilitating fear
brought you here with nary a lead.
But indeed, you have known.
You will carry it until you’ll have grown
feeble and cold, just an infarction from
the chill’s permanence; it hides in residence.
Do you declare to the world and hope the rooftops
can handle your exuberance,
your happy dance long buried?
This fact prompts you to wonder
that if under this guise you can reprise
what your heart conceals, the real feel of its mystery,
your history until now untold and you let the story unfold.
Touching secrets with probing fingers,
the memory lingers. You held the best vantage point
in the room to see all before you,
a chance at a glance always revealed.
Though you were in close proximity,
you chose to let fear dictate and seal your fate.
Never a clue did you expose. You chose to fade,
finding comfort in your invisibility. Indignantly,
you held your nerve and your secret this long.
It can’t be wrong to release your burden and breathe again.
No one knows.
You wonder if your existence evaded detection then.
You are certain that it does now.
Unseen for all these years, no one could know.
Your memories melt flowing onto a page
as you engage your feelings.
Poems written of your smitten past,
and at last you come clean.
It’s not as if these poems will ever be seen.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018