Speaking of Art: Poetry and Ekphrasis

The recording of Speaking of Art: Poetry and Ekphrasis has been written and presented by Dr. Kane. In his recording, Dr. Kane talks about different works on poetry, writing, and visual arts. He notes that poetry and painting are intertwined, and they work together (00:05:54-00:07:40). According to the recording, music and art have close relationships, and lyrics act as the connecting factor (Dr.Kane 5). The recording introduces the word Ekphrasis as the verbal description of work and art. The term Ekphrasis is used for poetry. Dr. Kane, in his recording, mentions three types of Ekphrasis, namely actual, notional and inaccessible Ekphrasis (00:11:55-00:12:40).

The recording gives examples of each type to the class. The recording also mentions attention as being the kind of energy we expend in understanding poetry. Dr. Kane goes ahead to classify attention into five categories that he explains in the presentation (00:12:25-00:12:50). The presentation ends with an explanation by Dr. Kane on how Ekphrasis helps us in the world of poetry.

I have enjoyed the presentation by Dr. Kane because he explains every aspect with clear and engaging examples. In explaining the actual type of Ekphrasis, the presentation explains it as a response to art or work that exists. From the picture ‘landscape with the fall of Icarus’, it is incredible how the plowman is seen as the point man, yet the fall of the Icarus from the sky isn’t given much attention. Dr. Kane shows finer details of the ship and setting sun. He manages to link the actual picture of how disasters happen, yet no one seems to be paying attention to them. The presenter defines notional Ekphrasis as the description of work that does not exist. By using imagery, one can comprehend how the art being described looks like.

Dr. Kane uses an example of how Homer’s poem describes the Achilles shield. Angello Montecelli did a painting of the shield from the vivid description rather than elaborating the painting. John Flaxman made the shield. It is incredible how Dr. Kane describes the inaccessible type of Ekphrasis. He says that no art is known nor exists, but a picture can be created from the description. He uses the poem, ‘a painting perhaps,’ which is his work. He imagined what the painting looked like in the future. As he took us through, I kept asking myself if we had kind of visual picture or image of the painting, was it about painting, or was it a kind of story. With the help of the presenter, I could come up with something sensible.

Having known what Ekphrasis was, I found it interesting to learn how Ekphrasis can help me. I learned Ekphrasis encourages one to look closely at art. It also helps in emphasizing responses, using imagination with poems without networks, and sensitizing how images and words work (Kennedy 165). I was keen to understand the phrase ‘paying attention. We pay for something using money, so we pay attention because of the interest in our capital. The attention stirs our imaginations and energizes our perceptions. We pay attention in different means that include being focused, being selective, multitasking, or by sustained ability to concentrate for an extended period and not losing concentration. The presentation was educative, and the examples used were relevant to the topic, thus making the whole presentation enjoyable.

Work Cited

David, Kennedy. The Ekphrastic Encounter in Contemporary British Poetry and Elsewhere. London: Routledge, 2017.

Speaking of Art: Poetry & Ekphrasis” Youtube, uploaded by Sunyo Rande Edu. 2021. Web.

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"Speaking of Art: Poetry and Ekphrasis." StudyStroll, 18 July 2022, studystroll.com/speaking-of-art-poetry-and-ekphrasis/.

1. StudyStroll. "Speaking of Art: Poetry and Ekphrasis." July 18, 2022. https://studystroll.com/speaking-of-art-poetry-and-ekphrasis/.


StudyStroll. "Speaking of Art: Poetry and Ekphrasis." July 18, 2022. https://studystroll.com/speaking-of-art-poetry-and-ekphrasis/.


StudyStroll. 2022. "Speaking of Art: Poetry and Ekphrasis." July 18, 2022. https://studystroll.com/speaking-of-art-poetry-and-ekphrasis/.


StudyStroll. (2022) 'Speaking of Art: Poetry and Ekphrasis'. 18 July.

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