The Art of Words: Ekphrastic Poetry Inspired by Cristina de Gennaro’s “Sage Drawings”

April 7, 2023
Posted In: News

Cristina de Gennaro, Sage Drawing XII, 2021, 42” x 42”, Charcoal on mylar.

Pareidolia, Vicki Schwartz

Grey twigs slump,
straw splays,
grass blades
tangled, sprawl.

From faded stump,
emerge lips, eyes, stub nose,
imp familiar.

Rock and roots,
little monkey face half severed
one big eye staring.

Pebbles coalesce,
spotted cat
sleeps in dirt.

Everything is alive.
Faces look out at me.
Do they exist without my eye?

The dessicated landscape,
the lichens, roots, grasses,
dead, dormant, resting.

Waiting for vision
drawn from seeing
and being seen.


Vicki Schwartz is a senior medical writer, birder, violinist, and poet, living in Hillsborough, NJ. Most recently, her poem titled “Postpartum” was published in US1 Worksheets, vol. 67, 2022.

Losing Battle, James Keane

Undergrowth is relentless
against the brightness, the beauty
of blossoms. Gnarled fingers
of colorless gray seek
to entwine, but would they strangle
all brightness and beauty, too?
How long will bright, beautiful
blossoms hold their own, just
barely, against the seething
entanglements let loose
by one lone tree? 

  Losing this battle

distresses me.

James Keane is the author of the poetry collection, Small Wonders (2022, Finishing Line Press).

About Our Ekphrastic Poetry Workshop

This is a generative poetry workshop in which Dodge poet Vasiliki Katsarou guides participants to write a poem in response to artwork of their choice on view in the Museum’s galleries. This is a creative exercise in drawing connections between art forms and allowing visual art to be a springboard toward poetry.  Haiku, concrete poetry, and other imagistic work are generated in the spirit of Allen Ginsberg’s “first thought, best thought.”

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