Because I am an overachiever, I decided to extend my Ekphrastic poems into the month of May. 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 artwork. This Ekphrastic poem is based on a painting by George Bellows entitled Swans in Central Park.
Swans in Central Park
The idea was simple,
Take up our paint brushes and canvas,
And travel beyond the drawing room and salon.
Trudge into working- and middle-class places
Let all of New York City be your campus,
Where paint is as real as mud.
And an ashcan as majestic as a swan.
Paint a girl with a raised skirt and dimple,
Or an old women with swayed backs and sad faces.
Capture the modern life of the city,
Be as realistic as Walt Whitman’s words on a page,
Participating in this ashcan movement in art.
I wandered down by the water,
And decided to start,
With Swans in Central Park,
And the spring starting to awake.
I thought it was a shame and a pity,
That the weather was so stark,
But the children decided to upstage,
The beautiful birds floating in the cold lake.
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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