Ekphrastic Blog # 31

In the 15th century, the devil was green, as depicted by Michael Pacher in this Saint Wolfgang panel (1471-1475, Alte Pinakothek, Munich)

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

A few months ago my Inspiration to Publishing class had an assignment to write a poem about a color. I chose green, mainly because it was my mother’s favorite color and the history behind the color green is extremely vast. When you write a poem about a color it is always better to look at its history first, before you dive into the poem saying: emerald green, grass green and turquoise. These colors are expected, an important topic that Dr. Muench wants her pupils to avoid.

“The Japanese Bridge,” 1899 Monet

 

“The job of the poet, is to keep their audience engaged by surprising them with the unexpected.” So how did I approach the bland color green in an unexpected way? I researched every possible shade within works of art. By including the tints of Crayola Crayons, OPI nail polish, and painting palates I found that green was not only infamous as poison, but also colored the devils, the saintly faces and robes of religion. Take a moment to look at the paintings I found. Each have distinct greens and are therefore specified pieces in my work. To make it interesting I added the modern colors and shades of Crayola. Along with the site’s  inspirations for the other lesser known shades of green in the world. Continue reading

Ekphrastic Blog # 30

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

Before I get down to the composition of my poem for this week’s Ekphrastic Blog I wanted to thank my audience for their attendance. I had a lovely talk with my friend from Amsterdam last week, over our Spring Break, and her site has been skyrocketing in views lately. I dedicated the Ekrphrastic Blog # 25 that contains the poem, “The Bells of Amsterdam,” as a surprise for her, and she was thrilled with the traffic on her site. It also showed me that I have an audience that reads these posts every so often and the feeling of being a voice in the void of voices has lessened a little for this blogger. On to the post!

Well, it is the thirtieth post on this blog and I am astonished that I have gotten to this number. There have been some rough patches that this blog post and I have gone through. Last year this blog post was sacrificed to the obligations of school and the Jet Fuel Review publication date. I decided that this semester, by taking two weeks of this post off, I would come back with a better grasp on my dwindling passion that this blog usually instills in me. On this break I found a new music artist via friend and paper editor, Christine Sellin. The artist is British. Let’s face it, my music choices have always been for guys across the pond. Greg Holden and Mads Langer are in the past Ekphrastic posts, and now I add MIKA.

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Ekphrastic Blog # 29

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

Hello audience, I have gotten myself into a fix, as my Ekphrastic Blog for this week will not be on this particular site. I searched Google for some poem ideas this week and found a writing contest that I decided to enter as of a day ago. It is an Ekphrastic Poem, that has everything to do with the actor James Hugh Calum Laurie (a.k.a. Dr. Gregory House). Though famous as an actor, he is also a singer, writer, musician, and director. I actually have his album on a playlist or two. I thought I’d feature his likes and dislikes within my poem, but they ended up being all about the character Dr. House that he portrays in House, M.D.

(poem link)

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Ekphrastic Blog #28

I have to automatically thank the networking of internet in general for my next Ekphrastic Blog inspiration. I ask my audience, have you ever been witness to an unbelievable event? If you say no, that is ok, don’t worry about it. If you say yes, good for you. But what tragedy would it be if none of us recognized that event for what it was? How would we feel if later, we found out that we missed the chance of a lifetime and ignored it completely? Well, my topic and inspiration is just about such a thing. The fact that over a thousand people passed by a concert violinist,  Joshua Bell, performing in the lobby of one of the busiest times of day, is not surprising to me. It is simple enough to explain, we as a culture have become so busy that we ignore the beauty. Or at least that is the study the Washington Post tried to, and succeeded in, proving with this study on people’s ability to recognize beauty in the most obscure and unnatural places. Like a metro station lobby.

Reading the article I found interesting tidbits of information involving those people who ignored the famous violinist and those that could not help but stop and listen. The people that seemed to notice the beauty the most, and tried very hard to stay and listen were the children who had no choice but to leave with their parents, who ignored the beauty their children instinctively heard. Billy Collins is quoted saying that, “all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry… life starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music too.” A truth that surrounds me, a poet by nature, with morose dread for the general society that has, in a sense lost the baser quality that I find necessary to call ourselves human.

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Ekphrastic Blog # 27

hubble telescope

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

This week, class assignments led me to look outside of the sphere we call earth. It was more of a choice to find things that are not attributed to the realm of perceptions in our common day lives. I decided to look to the stars, and thought I would find something in the pictures the Hubble Telescope sends to us every so often. What I found is that there are things science explains on every chemical level, but when I look at pictures like these, I am inspired to write a poem entirely based on their beauty. There has always been something ethereal about the stars, but that is how stars are described. They embody the word “otherworldly” and being at a lack for words seems like an interesting challenge for this week’s Ekphrastic.

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Ekphrastic Blog # 26

La Lettre Photograhie
Natsumi Hayashi

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

Yet again, I am late posting. The silver lining is that I am posting at all. The reason I am so looking forward to even sharing this post with you, my audience, is that this woman is a spectacular artist. Natsumi Hayashi  is a woman with a photographic journal called, “YowaYowa camera woman diary.” There are cats and other random everyday things in her journal, but the self portraits she showcases on a daily basis are called, “Today’s Levitation” and they all feature the artist never touching the ground.

Natsumi Hayashi

The review that attracted the attention of a fellow JFR editor, Deirdre McCormick, is found in La Lettre De La Photographie.com This linked me to Natsumi’s self-portrait portfolio that spanned all of last year. The many different photos I have for this Ekphrastic Blog are all from the same album, and clicking on them will send you to the site.

How is this album inspirational? I ask my audience to think about it for a second, stare at the photos, and think about the freedom they represent. Nastumi is weightless in that captured moment. If we didn’t know any better she could be the first person to learn how to levitate herself. A summary from the La Lettre blog informed me that this girl is very good at clicking a fantastic picture as she gracefully jumps into the image pose she choose to depict.

When I learned that these shots were of her jumping into place, I gasped out loud. The grace caught on camera astounds my former dancer’s mind, as I am familiar with the rigorous practice necessary to be this disciplined and comfortable in your own body. I hope you all appreciated the talent this woman has, and the inspiration she gave me for this new Ekphrastic installment. Remember, a writer’s work is never finished. You just get to see a stage of drafting. Enjoy!

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Ekphrastic Blog # 25

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

This Ekphrastic is a better-late-than-never sort of post. I found the story months ago, and decided this was as good a time as any to share with my audience. The city of Amsterdam is infamous for its reputation as a place where drugs are fairly easy to get. But not many know about the eco-friendly bicycle riders, and as with any trend there is also a side effect. Bikes are frequently stolen, or parts are lost amongst the busy shuffle of an ever-moving city. The bike bells, my topic for this poem, tend to fall off as the owner weaves through the traffic patterns and, what is interesting, is that these beautiful bells are crushed into the pavement of the street.

Today I look at the accidental artwork that paves the streets of Amsterdam. I found out from a native of the area, that her hobby was collecting bicycle bells. She discovered on her many outings that some of the bells cannot budge from their decorative spots upon the street pavement of Amsterdam. Therefore she adapted her hobby to taking pictures of the bells embedded in the street, as they glint in the sunlight. To facilitate her artwork she began to take a picture of every bell that was crushed into the streets of her city. She admits that she knows Amsterdam by the bell spot rather than the streets or buildings. Her website the many different pictures that inspire my poem today which I link with a few of the photos, in case the audience would like to browse through the bells that pattern the city streets. Hope you all enjoy a trip to Amsterdam, because it is definitely some place I would like to visit and walk the streets, looking down, and The Bells of Amsterdam.

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