The problem when writing ekphrastic poems

Painting by Henri Lebasque

Henri Lebasque: Le Cannet, Madame Lebasque Reading in the Garden.

If you choose a work of art that’s well-known, it’s easier for your readers to visualize, and they can bring their own experiences of that art into the poem, adding to the resonance. If the art’s well-known, it’s also likely that a lot of poems–say, 25-100–have already been written. It feels so done.

But if the art isn’t well known, your audience has no previous context and must rely on you for any sensory descriptions.

Your thoughts?

(Bonus question: If food is art, can you write an ekphrastic poem about pie?)

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