Small Flies and Other Wings

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub  (posted by Laura)
Poetics:  The Poet as Painter

“The practice of using words to comment on a piece of visual art is an ancient one. One of the earliest and most commonly cited forms of ekphrasis occurs in The Iliad, when Homer provides a long and discursive account of the elaborate scenes embossed on the shield of Achilles… the term ekphrasis derives from Greek, where it literally means “description” and was formed by combining the prefix ex- (“out”) with the verb “phrazein” (“to point out or explain”)”. (Merriam Webster)

"For this Poetics prompt however we begin not with the visuals but with some titles of modern and contemporary abstract art

- A Painter Without a Brush’ (Gerhard Richter)
- Broadway Boogie Woogie (Piet Mondrian))
- Convergence (Jackson Pollock)
- Movement in Squares (Bridget Riley)
- Small Flies and Other Wings (Christine Ay Tjoe,)

Choose ONE title ONLY and write a painterly poem – in other words, paint us a picture that you imagine fits the title.
Suggestions: Write as artist or observer of an abstract, surrealism or realism. Include texture and colour & engage with the visuals in mood.


Choose ONE of the titles above and simply write an ekphrastic poem.  Here are the links to the actual works of art
Gerhard Richter : Piet Mondrian : Jackson Pollock : Bridget Riley : Christine Ay Tjoe

Specks of black 
sidle up to 
lavender butterflies
and attempt to attack.
Lemon-winged butterflies
step in and flutter
their wings, brushing
off the silly flies.
The emerald-winged
dragonfly is regal,
and watches in amusement.
The slow-moving crane
flies are left alone.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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12 Responses to Small Flies and Other Wings

  1. rothpoetry says:

    Your poem has the feel of a cluster of insects ready to all flutter up into the wind at once! Beautifully done!


  2. Helen Dehner says:

    I love how you were able to combine the small flies and other wings, a literal and lovely interpretation of the art and its title.


  3. you took flight with Tjoe’s painting – a very nicely described ekphrastic


  4. Dora says:

    Multi-faceted and jeweled with color. Beautiful.


  5. I love the idea of “lavender” and “lemon-winged butterflies”. I can practically smell them on the canvas, adding wonder to the world…


  6. This is a wonderful summer day… I imagine sitting by a pond with all those wings.


  7. Grace says:

    I would love to see that lavender and lemon winged butterflies.


Comments are closed.