The task today is to write an ekphrastic poem. The trick with that is to do one of two extremes. One is to go with something like a photograph that no one knows and let that image frame the poem. The other extreme is to pick a painting that is extremely well known, so much so that anyone who doesn’t know it will at least recognize the title or artist and look it up. I decided to go for the familiar.
Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte with Cats
The light is so different there, pinpoint perfect, it gives each blade of grass a golden sheen. No better place for a cat to bring les petits for an afternoon chasing ducks. They never catch them, but who does? The chase is all. If they tire, as kittens do, there is the basket full of amuse bouches-- a little tuna, a soupçon of yogurt, perhaps a ball of yarn for après déjeuner play. Young Georges ruined his fur splashing in the pond, but no matter. Grisette held him down for a bath. Such a sound from one so small. You'd think being clean was a new and diabolical torture. A nap solved all and the sun, so warm on our furs traced long shadows as afternoon melted away.