Monday, January 21, 2013

Poems, Postcards, and Paintings. Or, ekphrastic adventures in the mailstream.

I am so pleased to be a guest blogger on Laura Shovan's blog, Author Amok. Laura is a Maryland poet, educator, and editor of the Little Patuxent Review. She's part way through a postcard poem project in which she is writing poems based on the image and words on 44 postcards. It's a great project, one in which I (and I'm sure other readers) can tell that she's having a lot of fun.

One reader commented last week that she should mail her postcards to various locations. I responded that the journal Do Not Look At The Sun had done just that with its Spring 2011 issue, "Postcards from Paris," and I provided the url. Laura found my poem "Thoughts While Viewing Van Gogh's 'Fishing Boats on the Beach at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer,'" liked it, and asked if I would be a guest blogger on her site.

The poem ties in with her project in a couple ways. The "Postcards from Paris" theme of the journal issue fits nicely with her postcard project. My poem, though, was not written with postcards in mind. Rather, it describes my engagement with Van Gogh's painting, which is one of my friend Petra's favorites. The engagement takes the speaker in the poem from viewing the painting in the gallery to imagining himself and the person to whom he's speaking in the painting. That's the ekphrastic tie-in, which Laura has written about on her blog.

My day in the Van Gogh Museum was the beginning of what I had planned to be a project in which I wrote poems based on his paintings. I still have my notes from the hours spent in the gallery. Time to dust them off and set sail on an ekphrastic adventure.

Many thanks to Laura for the opportunity to guest blog, for sharing her postcard project with all of us, and for the inspiration to re-engage with Van Gogh's paintings.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Mike. Thanks again for guest blogging today. Aren't you glad you took notes at the museum? Should make for an interesting series of poems. I'm looking forward to reading them.