Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ekphrastic poem: Flight of the Witches


from Flight of the Witches, by Francisco de Goya

The dozing burro at the crest of the cliff
doesn't even bat a splayed ear
when three mitered men are swept off their feet
in an unholy asention, as they carry a corpse
up the ladder of the night sky.
The half-naked one in green with his back to us
is a redhead. His flesh is translucent as the moon.
A bonfire blisters his fair skin, sheds light
on what is both seen and unseen.
A repentant man cowers at the feet
of the dark dancing one shrouded in a cloak of white,
his feet remembering the old patterns.
The cowering man covers his ears too late
against the howling din and the raging light
as the queasy surf ushers in waves
dressed in the salt tang of regret.





Ekphrastic poem. According to John Drury's The Poetry Dictionary, ekphrastic poetry is "Poetry that imitates, describes, critiques, dramatizes, reflects upon, or otherwise responds to a work of nonliterary art, especially the visual." So, I've provided links to two pieces of art, and I want you to pick one (or both) to write an ekphrastic poem. (It would be helpful for you to mention which art you picked.)


  1. Pocahontas, by Annie Leibovitz
  2. Flight of the Witches, by Francisco de Goya

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