This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Self Portraits: Ekphrasis Poetry Essay

1074 words - 4 pages

Ekphrasis poetry can be written as either an exhibition of the sensational aspects of an artist’s life or as a act to explicate the artwork itself. Gehrke balances both options by opening the gaze of the audience to witness the life of the artist but also the process, aftermath, and desire to paint. Gehrke respects the creative process of the painters, but also gives voice to the torments of the artists, their subjects, themes of death, life and love. The book as an entire collection gages the immediacy of art and time, because life is but a fleeting glimpse of fractured memories and light. Moreover, the images presented in Gehrke’s collection are intertwined capturing the urgency to paint, the transcendence of the artist from their body, as painting is an out of body experience, but also maintains the humanity of the artist’s by examining the fascination of the human body, medical crises and emotional turmoil. Michelangelo’s Seizure by Steve Gehrke explores ekphrasis poetry through crisis, whether that be the medical ailments of the artists, or the psychological and emotional associations for the artist. The poems, specifically “Self-Portrait Monet” and “Late Self-Portrait Rembrandt” are presented through emotional terms, associated not only with the circumstances influencing each artist, but the internal crisis and life consuming desire to paint what they see, experience and felt, to echo back and remember things passed.
In fact, the poems “Self-Portrait Monet” and “Late Self-Portrait Rembrandt” pay lyrical homage to artists’ work and biographies, the remembering of love, seeing their wives die and trying to catch their lost images on canvas. Gehrke as a poet tries to explain the thoughts of an old man reflecting on his life. Gehrke does this in such a way that, the cataracts Monet experiences, producing darker images of red and brown hues instead of the bright pastels once used in his French impressionism, is seen merely a new way to paint. Conversely, Rembrandt’s paintings were typically cast in dark hues, but the effects of arthritis changed his art, as the paintbrush is depicted as the extension of self. Gehrke’s verbal descriptions cause the audience to explore the lives of the artists as a means to understand the life and works of an ailing man. The audience witnesses how “art gives our own loss/ back to us,/ camouflaged/ as beauty,/ because the self,/ distilled, echoes back” (“Self-Portrait Monet”). Thus, the relationship of the artist as a mirror merely reflecting the world, gazing upon the images of their dying loved ones and presenting the grief of loss, concerned with remembering is fractured by punctuation to represent how memory causes one to pause and ponder.
Additionally, The poetic language of the poem is figurative, with the use of extended metaphor, which links memory to painting, informing the scenes of the artist’s own personal history, but also their methodology when painting. The inventive and connotative metaphors and...

Find Another Essay On Self Portraits: Ekphrasis Poetry

Idealism in Auden’s O who can ever gaze his fill, Out on the lawn I lie in bed (A Summer Night 193

2145 words - 9 pages refers to the self-loving Narcissus in Death’s remarks, “An active partner is something disgraceful” (29). If by “active partner” Auden means “a friend who has no time for others,” then Death has a solution for this: find new friends and continue to enjoy life. In the third stanza, the lover speaks of erotic love. In the lover’s ideal world, the beloved will travel across the sea to him or her, and their sensual, “brief bed” will be fertile, as

The General Prologue - The Canterbury Tales

1451 words - 6 pages The General Prologue - The Canterbury Tales The General Prologue The most popular part of the Canterbury Tales is the General Prologue, which has long been admired for the lively, individualized portraits it offers. More recent criticism has reacted against this approach, claiming that the portraits are indicative of social types, part of a tradition of social satire, "estates satire", and insisting that they should not be read as

E. E. Cummings

845 words - 3 pages eccentricities have been widely imitated, but it requires a poet of Cummings’ skill to bring them off successfully'; (Cummings, Penguin, 469). Cummings also received acknowledgement for other things beside his poetry. In Collier’s Encyclopedia, Barry Ulanov expressed: “Cummings was a skilled draftsman. After a brief venture into abstract painting, he returned to still lifes, portraits, and landscapes'; (Ulanov 565). His style

Nationalism Among American Arts

718 words - 3 pages Charles Willson, began to paint portraits of famous leaders such as George Washington. If the people saw through these canvases national leaders in bold postures and striking scenes of events like the Revolutionary War, the spirit of keeping this self-image and further improving it would be spread throughout people's minds. Moreover, not only did American painters spread nationalism through president's portraits, but also through America's

The Portraiture of Women During the Renaissance

1824 words - 7 pages This essay will discuss how women were represented in the portraiture during the Renaissance period. It will explain how the women’s body was pictured in portraiture as; marriage celebrant, husbands beloved, figures of fertility, mothers, display of wealth, paragons of virtues, husband’s passive representative, indication of fashion and more (Brown, 2003). Next, it will include analysis from the two female portraits of Leonardo de Vinci’s

Francesco Clemente

1129 words - 5 pages interview Clemente is asked about his self-portraits “Where are you in your head when you paint them?” Clemente speaks of his own reflexivity in response to the question: “In my head I am in one of those Buddhist caves where you see a thousand Buddha faces on the wall. In my head I am on my seventeen-year-old acid trip, when I saw my personas fall one minute after another, as if I was dying every moment.”…”I'm at the age where I don't need an acid trip

Looking Through the Eyes of the Faultless Painter

1263 words - 6 pages loving, taking responsibility and passing on responsibility. In this sense, del Sarto's monolog is clearly a sincerely held view of the world, but is precisely the kind of view that a real person holds: Filled with inaccuracies and competing self-images. One of the crucial clues to the meaning of the poem is the superlative that Andrea del Sarto has earned: “Faultless Painter”. Del Sarto has interpreted this vision of himself to mean that he has

"My Last Duchess": Paragon and Paregon

5175 words - 21 pages with interpretation concerned Robert Browning throughout a career in which he made the dramatic monologue converge sound, silence and audition, as well as image and vision. Reading such a poem is like being drawn into it, having to side with its personae, while feeling extraneous or beside the point; more than sympathy or.judgment, these alternatives lead readers to self-reflection, to seeing themselves shifting between the center and the border

The Psychology of Inspiration in Prose Poems by Lynn Emanuel

3289 words - 13 pages she grew up in an environment where art meant the practice of either painting or poetry writing: “Lynn, draw that vase, make it your mother. Turn the green curtain into the woods she’s walking into”2. Emanuel’s father, whose paintings only now are getting their deserved recognition and attention, was a master especially in the portraiture genre. Interestingly enough, however, some of his still life paintings can also pass as portraits

The First Elizabeth: The Biography

1284 words - 5 pages written by and for Elizabeth as well as portraits of her. Using this and her speeches it seems she wants to assert herself. In one speech she outshines a Polish ambassador by showing off her competency of Latin. She refuses to be controlled by those she is in charge of. She will not let any man get he best of her, be it Dudley or those of her council who defy her. She continually says she will not get married. In her poetry was some insight to

Don Quixote

1081 words - 4 pages in 1575. After five years of slavery, he was ransomed; and two or three years later, he returned to Spain. He settled in Madrid and began a moderately successful literary career, in which he wrote poetry, published a pastoral romance, La Galatea(1585), and had some twenty to thirty plays performed without, as he puts it, “offerings of cucumbers or other throwable matter.” Failing to attain financial success, he obtained an employment in

Similar Essays

Phillis Wheatley Essay

408 words - 2 pages daughters. Phillis studied English, Latin and Greek and in 1767 and began writing poetry. Her first poem, on the death of George Whitefield, was published in 1770.Wheatley's sense of herself as an African and an American makes her in some ways a dual provincial in relationship to the eighteenth-century Anglo-Atlantic cosmopolitan center. The art of her poetry resides in her capacity to make her political, cultural, and poetic self-consciousness a

Richard Avedon Essay

1286 words - 6 pages influences of beauty, fashion, and tragedy would later influence Avedon’s photographs and his love of capturing unconventional portraits. Early Career Avedon’s early photography interest led him to join the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) Camera Club at age 12. He went on to attend DeWitt Clinton High School in Bedford Park, Bronx where he developed poetry and was named “Poet Laureate of New York City High School”. His love of poetry prompted him

Giorgione's "Laura" 1506; Courtsean Or Marriage Portrait?

1608 words - 6 pages trade as a courtesan. Laurel was also identified as a symbol for literary accomplishments. For that reason it may also be a reference to the sitter's achievement as a poet during a time when courtesans were intellectually accomplished individuals in music, poetry and witty conversation. For instance, take the legendary Venetian courtesan Veronica Franco; a woman who possessed a notable degree of education and self-assurance, she actively

A Comparison Between 'tirra Lirra By The River' By Jessica Anderson, 'diana: Queen Of Hearts' And 'starry Starry Night' By Don Mclean In Reference To The Topic Of Portraits

1249 words - 5 pages Portraits are often described as images and faces of people and how we view them or how they are portrayed. It is a representation of a person or it can also be an expression of a time or situation, a person's behaviour and characteristics. Portraits can be represented in many different types of text including Dance, Biographies, Film, Poetry, Plays, Fiction and Music. A composer can choose a particular type of text to represent a portrait so