Ekphrastic poem

Our latest assignment in poetry class was to write an ekphrastic poem--a poem on a work of art. We could choose from any painting, photo, sculpture, etc. So I chose a photo I took in high school when I was in photography class...mostly because I had easy access to it...also because I love the picture. Ekphrastic poems should be able to stand alone without the picture, but also avoid summary description.

Here's the poem I wrote:

Woman on the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry
by Emily Culp

There’s something on the water
she can’t see.
             Black and thirsty
     Tossing beneath thick fog

It’s a whisper
     the bleak future of the lovers seated behind her
They laugh
now              as one shows the other a secret

45 minutes
       Inside today because it is too
Her mother will be waiting in

Maybe her mother is on the             water
Out there         
  already gone. Her iv unhooked.

        She’ll have to take the 5:30 back
When traffic

Behind the couple
a mirror image with curly hair
overexposed          in the darkroom
          imaginary blonde-highlights
keeps her back turned
out of focus
low f-stop

the whale
           at the back of the boat--
Leaping almost out                                                                of frame.

Mother will be waiting
in             Kingston.
if she is not already            gone.
on the water.

(And here's a crappy picture of the photo I took with my cell phone)

This class is pretty over my head a lot of the time...but I love it.


Natalie said…
That is beautiful. You're a poet.

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