I’ve been thinking a lot about ekphrasis (the fancy word for a poem responding to a work of art), and it’s led to me wonder whether poetry is as fundamentally a product of input (what a poet sees, hears, reads, and absorbs from the world around them) as of output (the actual writing and revising). At some level it’s obvious that this is true, but I don’t pause often enough to appreciate how much of the work of writing takes place when I’m not writing or how much the life I choose to live defines my work.
Confessional poetry is most often associated with revelation. But in ekphrastic poems, the poet reveals herself by looking outward. The world around us is constantly speaking, and in these poems, the poet becomes the stenographer.
You can read more about ekphrasis in my review of Aurian Haller’s collection “Song of the Taxidermist” on Rover now.