PAD Day 9

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.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 110

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.

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Author of the poetry collection The Tethered Ground and Professor of English at Missouri State University. Contact me for readings or for workshops on writing/publishing and on teaching writing online.

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