April sunshine has given me the courage to take on the challenge of writing Ekphrastic poems. I have never attempted to translate the emotion from paintings, drawings, sculptures, or other visual works of art into words. The challenge will require me to dig deep to tap into the passions such works of art create inside a person. Most of what I write will be speculative. There will be times when I will place myself into the mind of the artist. Still other times, I will express the emotions I experience gazing at the work of art. If I get creative, I might even tell the story from an element within the work of art. For this Ekphrastic poem, I selected Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa. I called this one Mona Lisa’s Grin.
Mona Lisa’s Grin
Smile he said,
And I saw shades of red
My teeth are not my best feature.
It started out that way,
But by the end of the day
I frowned at the fickle artistic creature.
My eyebrows and lashes painfully plucked,
And my hands folded and neatly tucked
Like a well-breed, aristocratic lady.
I never wanted my portrait done,
It’s not my idea of frolic or fun
The experience seemed a little shady.
“Today, before we begin,
Why don’t we start with a grin,”
The painter said pointing to a chair.
I sat down and focused my eyes
The grin became a clever disguise
And focused my Mona Lisa soul searching stare.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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