Many times, our surroundings and life experiences can be a catalyst for creating great poems on a page or pieces of art on a canvas. It is not uncommon for one art form to morph into or inspire another. For instance, poetry can inspire art and art poetry. The relationship between the two can be likened to a waltz. At times, poetry leads inspiring great visual representations of what’s been written, and at others, art leads and unique expressions of the piece are created on the page.
Examining or creating one form of art through the use of another is formally known as ekphrasis. A poem generated from or inspired by examining art is known as an ekphrastic poem and can be seen in works such as John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and Jan Greenberg’s “Heart to Heart.” Not only is it practiced by these notable authors, but by a local group of young aspiring artists and writers.
In this episode of Poetry Unchained, host Shaneen Harris is joined by youth Chariel Henson and Toni Harper from Emmanuel Christian Academy and Sowande from Akron Digital Academy. They discuss their sources of artistic inspiration. Sowande shares how his poetry is impacted by what he sees around him. Toni shows how home life and what we see can influence art. Chariel illustrates art triggered by life experiences. She also shares with us how she transformed her art piece into an ekphrastic poem.
It has been said that the collaboration between poetry and art creates conversation. There is more conversation to be had about the work of these talented young people and how they express their experiences visually and poetically.