Friday, August 05, 2016

Poetry Friday - Poetry Seven Write Ekphrastic Poems

This month the poetry gang wrote poems to images selected by Sara. I was thrilled with her choice, having read about this particular exhibit in the New York Times way back in November. (See the article Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery Reopens With a New Focus.) Here are a couple of photos.
Artwork © Jennifer Angus, photographs © Sara Lewis Holmes 

You can find additional photos on Jennifer Angus' site. You can also read about the ethics of working with insects. And here's one more bit ...
After spending a lot of time looking at the artwork, I couldn't get Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, out of my mind. In fact, I was so stuck on it that I've included excerpts in this poem. So, with apologies to Jennifer Angus, because I do love her wall, here is my poem.

In The Midnight Garden
“I never saw a worse paper in my life.
One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.”
It’s a wonder
this pink wall
curious and unrestrained
with its friendly swarms
whirling rosettes
starry-eyed skulls

Listen closely
you may just hear
the low hum of
their wings
the hiss of
their breathing

Stare long enough
and they’ll take on
a life of their own
crawling towards you
and taking flight
“I’m getting really fond of the room in spite of the wallpaper. Perhaps because of the wallpaper.”
It’s not psychosis that
makes me love this wall
It’s getting nose to nose
with Earth’s most repugnant
and abundant creatures
awakening a new reverence
for nature’s least loved
in all their resplendence

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. Laura's in the midst of a big move to a new home and busy, busy, busy, so she's cheering us on today.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Tara at A Teaching Life. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. Oh my goodness, I love everything here. I was fascinated by that instillation at the Renwick (every single one was amazing but that was awe inspiring). The poem it inspired from you is phenomenal. I'm especially in love with the final six lines. Thank you, thank you for sharing all of this!

  2. I love your second stanza because it creeps me out - I can really hear them breathing and crawling around. I'm going to dream about this! Waaaa!

  3. It looks very Mexican Day of the Dead. A celebration of our earthly shells. I love your poem, and your willingness to plumb the full creepiness of the experience.

    1. Yes, I had sugar skulls on my mind as well!

  4. And now that I've been thinking about hissing cockroaches... all night...

    I like how this turned out, though. And thanks for the video!!

  5. I saw an artistic exhibit at an art fair once where the artist used various insects within the art. This is quite the exhibit, & thanks for the article, too, Tricia. I enjoyed the voice in your poem, something that does have the flavor of someone's thoughts when visiting a new room: "Stare long enough
    and they’ll take on
    a life of their own."

  6. Fascinating! I SO want to see/experience this exhibit!

    I love your final stanza.

  7. I think Google swallowed my comment like a bug. :) But...I'll try again. I love how you've composed a tribute to the "least loved." And that wallpaper reference! Shivery good.