Ekphrastic Poetry

That was not a misspelling – Ekprhastic poetry is a poem based on a work of art; a painting, sculpture (or an ode, say, to something like a Grecian urn), etc. Our prompt today was to write a poem based on one of four paintings. I chose The Shootings of May Third 1808, by Francisco de Goya. And I suppose some smart alec will point out to me that cameras with shutters weren’t even invented until 1817 or so, but I say that the simile remains good.

###

On Shutters and Overexposure

(after The Shootings of May Third 1808, by Francisco de Goya)

My eyes are shutters
but even closed
they still see
the shuddering
horror
of the executions.

Like when the
camera’s shutter
clicks,
the picture is
taken in my mind;
but unlike
the film,
I cannot erase,
by overexposure
what I’ve seen.

Only by
overexposure
of another sort
will my mind
become numbed.

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