Ekphrastic Poetry, Part 3
Here is a third example of an ekphrastic poem that suddenly, unexpectedly, poured out of me in response to a piece of sculpture.
For the last 5 years before I retired from teaching writing and literature at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), I would daily walk by a very large sculptural installation, titled, Forum, by the artist Thomas Sayre, outside the Performing Arts and Humanities Building where I had my 4thfloor office.
I saw these half arches and the stunted stone pediments in rain and snow, sun and shade and watched their shadows shift across the grass with the movement of the sun. I grew to love this sculpture, seemingly both ancient and modern, which appeared different every time I looked at it.
Finally, one day after seeing it half covered in snow, out of a plate glass window in a conference room 3 stories up, a poem began composing itself in my mind, and I quickly jotted down some notes just before a meeting started. Later, I refined my notes at home and the poem below was the result. It was published with a photo of the Thomas Sayre sculpture by UMBC magazine.