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What is ekphrasis?

Throughout history, writers and visual artists have looked to the creations of their peers to inspire their own work. William Carlos Williams’ poem Landscape With the Fall of Icarus, inspired by Bruegel’s painting of the same name, re-envisions a classical myth; Keat’s Ode on a Grecian Urn transforms the decorations of a real-world object into a commentary on youth and beauty.

Wikipedia explains ekphrasis this way:

Ekphrasis or ecphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, ‘out’ and ‘speak’ respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name.

For more examples of ekphrasis, click here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicole permalink
    February 3, 2010 5:13 am

    Wonderful and fun idea! I am looking forward to more issues.

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