Ekphrastic involves the description or interpretation of a visual work of art in a written form, such as a poem, a story, or an essay. The aim of ekphrastic writing is to convey the meaning or significance of the artwork to the reader, often by exploring themes or ideas that are suggested by the work. Ekphrastic writing can help to create a deeper appreciation of the visual arts by providing an alternative perspective or interpretation of the artwork.
Examples of ekphrastic:
“Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats, in which the poet describes a series of scenes depicted on an ancient Greek urn.
“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by William Carlos Williams, in which the poet reflects on the famous painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
“Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier, a novel that imagines the life of the woman depicted in the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer.
“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, in which the portrait of the title character serves as a symbol for his moral corruption and decay.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, in which the patterned wallpaper in the narrator’s room becomes a symbol for her own mental state.
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Alexander Nemerov. Summoning Pearl Harbor.