Ecphrasis: Sunset

Ecphrasis (alternatively, ekphrasis): (n)  A clear, intense, self-contained argument or pictorial description of an object, especially of an artwork.

One of our assignments for our Journal was to write an ecphrasis on one of the art pieces we saw in one of the museums we visited. In London, we spent an entire day at the Tate Britain, so there was plenty to choose from. I ended up doing more than one ecphrasis for my journal before it was done, but this was the first.

In my journal, the layout of this entry takes up both pages. On the left is a watercolor painting I made as an attempt to recreate the painting, “The lake from Pentworth House: Sunset” by Turner. I’m no artist, and I’m  certainly no painter, so it’s really just a blur of colors that sort of almost mirrors the original. It gets the general idea across for the point of the assignment, anyway.

The second page includes an introduction/explanation that was required of each journal entry and the two poems that make up my actual ecphrasis. The two poems sit side by side. and I wish I could present them to you like that now, but since I can’t, hopefully you’ll still enjoy them one after another.

Introduction: Two reactions to Turner’s oil painting entitled “The Lake from Pentworth House: Sunset”. These two poems were written at different tiems, when the same painting evoked two different, yet equally strong emotions. The wording is sometimes similar, but the tone varies. 

The original painting:

Poem 1:

I sit silently, letting the cool air softly blow the hair out of my face. I close my eyes, breathing in the smell of the willow trees surrounding the lake. I let the events of the day fall away; they are picked up by the breeze and taken away into the calm summer night, dancing through the leaves, making ripples in the water.
Peaceful.
Serene.
Worry and anxiety don’t exist here. Here I can breathe. I let the loud, intrusive thoughts that had been rushing around my head be replaced with the hushed sounds of the wind rustling in the trees and birds crooning quietly in the distance. I slowly start to open my eyes, keeping them partially closed. I look across the lake to the sun lazily dipping below the horizon. The soft colors of twilight bleed into one another, the lines fading away into a blend of pale blues, yellows and greens.
This is happiness. This is home.

Poem 2:

I sit silently, letting the cool air softly blow the hair out of my face. I close my eyes, breathing in the smell of the willow trees surrounding the lake. I let the events of the day fall away; they are picked up by the breeze and taken away into the calm summer night, dancing through the leaves, making ripples in the water.
From behind me, two arms gently lock around my waist; a soft chin rests on my shoulder. A soothing warmth fills me as I slightly turn my head to the side. A kiss, momentary but perfect.  Together we look across the lake to the sun lazily dipping below the horizon. The soft colors of twilight bleed into one another, the lines fading away into a blend of pale blues, yellows and greens.
As the sun disappears, exchanging a soft golden light for the eerie bluish glow of the moon on the lake, so does the sensation of being held close. A fantasy. A memory, perhaps. Alone, I watch the stars slowly peer through the darkness, one at a time. As one sweeps swiftly across the sky, I make a wish. I wish for love…for happiness…for home.

Advertisements

~ by Valerie Anne on 02/26/2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: