And now for our daily (optional) prompt. As our film for the day shows, art and poetry can richly affect one another. Frank O’Hara’s poem, “Why I am Not a Painter,” speaks to this mutual engagement, as do explicitly ekphrastic poems (i.e., poems that are about a specific work of art), like Thom Gunn’s “In Santa Maria del Popolo.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that engages with another art form – it might be about a friend of yours who paints or sculpts, your high school struggles with learning to play the French horn, or a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced – anything is in bounds here, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.
Some call me a poet, some an artist
For poems I write and art I do
Perhaps I am a little of both
Or perhaps I am neither
If writing your heart in verse
for the pure love of it
Makes me a poet, then I must be one
If the only test be, that these words are my own
And they not be judged
for meter, stanza, rhyme and the rest
Then maybe I’d agree.
If bringing a canvas to life
for the sheer joy of creating
Makes me an artist, then I must be one
If my art makes you appreciate in awe
If it not be judged
for its originality, abstractness, roots or the rest
Then maybe I’d agree.
But I can tell you what I’m not
I’m not a baker, though I’d love to be
So if you called me that, I would not agree
For ne’er a cake hath risen
Or a cookie not crumbled
Or a bread not brown’d
When I did wear the baker’s hat
An explosion of dough, broken egg shells and dirty dishes
messier than cleaning paint off my palette; easier
to paint a cake of any flavor and top it with the brightest colors
Making of fondants a distant dream
So much harder than writing a verse or painting a picture
the whisking, the sprinkling, the layering
If it were enough that I lie engrossed
Unaware of the passing of hours
And the the ebb and flow of tides
To knead a wonder
Then maybe I’d be a baker
Or maybe I am
For with the weave of words and the dash of strokes
I can be all I want to or I can be none.
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