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. This Ekphrastic poems is based on a painting by Jean-Francois Millet entitled The Gleaners.
If not for poverty
My sisters and I would not
Be gleaning in this field.
Sometimes it is hard to see
The tiny grain as we squat
Picking the leavings from the yield
We three thought a few things
Would be different after the revolution
But what we got was more of the same
Chop off a few heads and others grow wings.
Rebellion was a never a good resolution
Because power is a deadly game.
There have always been poor women gleaners
From the days of ancient Zion
So in the dust and dirt we labor like Ruth.
The priests instruct us to have quiet demeanors
While we root among the scion
And work like we did in our youth.
Still, these days there is little mercy for the poor
We are a constant reminder
Of the deprivation they hate
Not easily ignored
When an artist removed the moral blinder
With the stroke of a brush bold and ornate.
Who is Molly Shea?
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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