11 Replies to “New York Skyline”

  1. *Can* epiphytes live in smog? Perhaps that’s why the graveyard’s so crowded.

    I’m still chewing on the last stanza. But *where* do we learn this definition of “inspiring” from? TV and movies? I don’t think it’s something my parents would share, so I presumably didn’t learn it at home.

  2. btw, the impulse to admire city skylines is widespread. I just got a hit on this post from thisGoogle search. I hope they found what they were looking for even though the post’s penultimate picture is damn disappointing.

  3. Lorianne – I hope it’s obvious that the narrator draws water from her (?) own, bitter well. The references to smog/dust seem to connect to a literal understanding of inspiration (though i only noticed the connection myself after posting). This post certainly wasn’t meant to cast aspersions on those who do find skylines inspiring, among whom I would have to count myself.

  4. This is lovely, Dave. I particularly like the last stanza; it’s deliciously tight, and also thought-provoking.

    And it makes me see Lorianne’s photographs in a different way, which is high praise for ekphrastic work such as this. :-)

  5. Thanks, Rachel. Not sure what “ekphrastic” means, though — it wasn’t in any of the dictionaries I consulted just now. All I know to call this kind of stuff is prosopopoeia – i.e., dramatic monologue. I’m not very sophisticated in the literary criticism department, I’m afraid.

  6. Someone else found that link for me- I haven’t searched it as you have. But I still thought it pretty clear. It’s what many people do in their posts, too, with images and words. The word is coming back into vogue, perhaps.

  7. Dave, you’ve done way more research on this than I have. From that article I linked to:

    “We know that school boys were instructed to write (usually poems) about the architecture and art in museums and grand public places—for public consumption and understanding. Around the 4th and 5th Centuries, ekphrastic poetry was pretty much limited to poems derived from visual art. The poems were often elaborate and descriptive and might have been about the religious architecture or paintings surrounding people or that the citizens had little access to. English romantic poets: (Keats “Ode on a Grecian Urnâ€? always comes to mind first), Shelley, Byron, and others composed many such works, some of which became well known.”

    Apparently the term, ekphrastic, has been out of the Oxford Dictionary for a decade (or more?), but it’s coming back into vogue.

    Since the field seems pretty open right now on what it could mean, why don’t you define it however you see fit? It seems to be a poem or poetry reflecting a deep resonance between a writer and a work of art, but surely its meaning can expand beyond that to …

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.