Roundhouse Poetry Circle Blog Renaissance and Ekphrasis at the Roundhouse on June 26

sea-and-rainJames Abbott McNeill Whistler. Sea and Rain. 1865


The Roundhouse Poetry Circle Blog is now back in operation after a brief hiatus. We kickoff with an early reminder about the repeat of our stimulating session on Ekphrastic Poetry on Thursday, June 26. Please bring your own favourite ekphrastic poem to read. Thus far we have:

  1. Geoff Mynett: Homer‘s “Shield-of-Achilles” from The Iliad, focusing on lines 558-571. Click here to download these lines as a Word file: The Shield of Achilles
  2. Bruce Burnett: Philip Larkin‘s “An Arundel Tomb.” (Images) and/or “Les_Coquelicots” by Timothy Brownlow (Painting by Claude Monet).
  3. Anne Fletcher: ‘“Adam And Eve” By Lucas Cranach The Elder, 1526′ by Linda Pastan.
  4. Nora Grove: Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo
  5. Rosaleen Cowan: “The Family Photograph” by Vona Groarke

Please post your selection in the “Leave a Comment” box below, or on the “CONTACT US” page.

Here’s a current example of an ekphrastic poem (see painting above):

Sea and Rain: Lake Michigan

Keith Taylor

after James McNeill Whistler, 1865

There is a dance at water’s edge,
a movement between the lake, its sand
and the horizon where lake becomes cloud.

Between those lines our world’s
a thin wash of muted tones, beige
and gray with a hint of white,

almost abstract, until the dancer
steps out into the pool.
She makes the whole thing real.

About This Poem

The Whistler painting Sea and Rain is in the University of Michigan’s art museum. There is a small unfinished person in the left foreground who gives the scene context. Otherwise it is a color abstraction. I have seen a dancer on the shores of Lake Michigan who also could focus attention.”
—Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor teaches part-time in the writing program at the University of Michigan. His most recent book of poems is If the World Becomes So Bright (Wayne State University Press, 2009).

More examples of ekphrastic poetry:


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