English Analyzing Ekphrastic Poetry

a vivid description of a scene or more commonly, a work of art

Ekphrastic Poetry
Form of poetry that comments on a work of art in another genre, such as a painting or a piece of music

William Carlos Williams
Author of Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, poem describing the painting “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by Pieter Brueghel

W H Auden
Author of Musee des Beaux Arts, poem describing the painting “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by Pieter Brueghel

Elements to evaluate (Subject, Structure, Word Choice, Tone)
When comparing & contrasting poems, look for similarities & differences in these elements: Subject, look at how it is presented
Structure, short sentences vs long sentences
(short=terse, to the point; long=unique, more profound)
Word Choice, how descriptive are the words
Tone, what is the poet’s interpretation.

Which ideas from the poem are BEST reflected in the painting?

Ekphrastic Poems
Respond to works of art, connects to artwork through detail, word choices, and tone

Visual Art
Can be analyzed by observing details, what is, or is not depicted in the art or poem.

Example: Icarus’s wings were melted by the sun but that is not depicted in the painting.

Art Interpretation
Is an individual undertaking. People may interpret art differently.

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English Analyzing Ekphrastic Poetry
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