Ekphrastic Poem #4

Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Linda K. Strahl, an editor-in-training at the Jet Fuel Review. Her full bio can be found at the end of this post.

As you, dear audience, know, there are many things that can inspire a piece. In my previous pieces I have used pictures. These pictures are more tools for the writer than anything else. They goal for a writer is to be able to paint a picture with words so well that the reader can see the image in their mind, without seeing an actual picture. Painting a picture with words is never an easy task, because there are so many different elements that the writer has to incorporate. To writers I say, “Keep in mind, that all that effort, that diligent pursuit of the descriptive, pays off.”

I want the readers to know that there is a very dramatic and different tone to this poem I have written. This is because there is no picture this week. I have chosen to write a poem with three separate inspirations that I interlink throughout the piece. I admit, I could get a picture to make this more in sync with the previous posts, but this would not support my point.

When I began this blog on ekphrasitc poems I mentioned that pictures can inspire. I also mentioned songs and other written works, which is what I am using as inspirations in my work for this week. There is also the third element, life. Life always affects our work as the outside surrounds us and filters into our conscious and unconscious thoughts, and songs touch both, affect both with personal and remarkable reactions.

Changes by 3 Doors Down and Jay Asher’s “TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY,” are my inspirations because they have female and male element I can intertwine and incorporate in the poem. No one gets left out, because everyone has had that time in life where they are completely lost to the world and themselves. Neither one of them are cheery. No sunshine and rainbows, and as a writer I know that I cannot control the audience’s reaction to my work. Therefore without further excuses and read-between-the-lines-apologies, my poem:

stillness washes over her,
as anguish encompasses her soul.
catapulting her concious into
a dark hole of oblivion.
he is suffocated by the requirements
and expectations of perfection
of a first son.
her mouth tightens across her face
as she plasters on a toothy smile.
he is underwhelmed by life
and overwhelmed by duty.
she writes in a bulging journal
he sketches on slips of paper
they continue breathing
through the pressure and pain
carrying a weight not their own
living the lives of a lost generation.
creating a space between oblivion
and existence.

Editor’s Note: Linda K Strahl is a transfer student from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, where she was studying Archeaology and minoring in Creative Writing. She came to Lewis University in Fall of 2010 to major in Creative Writing. After participating in the production of two plays at Phillip Lynch Theater she has become an enthusiastic dramaturgist, and is contemplating a career as a researcher and playwriter.

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