NaPoWriMo Day 6 – Sons of Adam and Eve- Hear Me

“Today’s (optional) prompt is ekphrastic in nature – but rather particular! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive speared on its horn, a man using an owl as a pool toy, or a backgammon board being carried through a crowd by a fish wearing a tambourine on its head, I hope that you find the experience deliriously amusing. And if the thought of speaking in the voice of a porcupine-as-painted-by-a-man-who-never-saw-one leaves you cold, perhaps you might write from the viewpoint of Bosch himself? Very little is known about him, so there’s plenty of room for invention, embroidery, and imagination.”

Today’s resource was a huge learning for me. I actually looked at the painting, read notes on it and ended up being in complete awe of the creator. I’ve written the poem Bosch’s e point of view. I hope you enjoy it. It’s shocking how he predicted the future so realistically though at first the painting appears bizarre and outrageous.




The ‘Garden of Earthly Delights,’

What a pretty name

For the profanity and bizarre sights

How truly optimistic

and how sadly lame

to label my  triptych-


T’was an admonition

Did you not see-

Of the perils of temptation

Oh! The irony

Of a name so sweet- that it fails to tell

Of what is to come


‘A pathway to hell’

May have been more befitting

a name; it would rightly sum

the dark secret, the black future, the warning

Do you not see

how its turning true


What you wrote of as an infernal parody?

The bird bug IS the flu

the ears and knife – a sign

For not paying heed

the diabolical bird on the potty chair – all the food and wine

you gorged; the lust, the fleshy indulgence – you made it a need


Don’t blame me or Him – For you sowed the seed


But fear not – there’s hope still

Read the notes- not the one on the buttocks

Change your course – before it doth kill

Save your flocks

Do you see the lute

And the book below?


Read the notes- that’s the route

Follow it – Go!

Or Paradise may forever be lost

Heed my words

Know what your indulgence cost

Ye’ sons of Adam and Eve


Steer your herds

Do not grieve

Noah’s Ark awaits you

The ‘Garden of Earthly Delights,’ was your cue

The Rot – to sieve

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Our poetry resource today is an online poetry journal, The Ekphrastic Review. As its name suggests, this magazine publishes only work inspired by works of visual art, and often provides images of the specific paintings alongside each poem.











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