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Poetry Project

The Blanton Poetry Project

Throughout history, artists and writers have found inspiration in each other's work. While painters and sculptors have been inspired by literary works, writers have translated their interpretation of a visual artwork into written form. An ancient tradition that has carried through to present time, Ekphrasis is a poetic description of, or commentary on, a visual work of art.

Writers from across the state of Texas have composed poems inspired by works of art in the Blanton's permanent collection. Look for them on wall labels in the galleries or as part of The Blanton Poetry Project Web Page.

The Blanton Poetry Project is an ongoing venture made possible by the Blanton Museum of Art, The Edward and Betty Marcus Digital Education Project for Texas Art Museums, and the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English, The University of Texas at Austin. The project was initiated by D'Arcy Randall, a published writer and current faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Kurt Heinzelman, director of The Creative Writing Program and professor of English, both at The University of Texas.

The Blanton Poetry Project would like to thank all of the poets who participated in this special collaboration.

Chloris and Zephyrus, Revisited

After Sebastiano Ricci's Flora
By Judy Jensen

She seduced me. Just look at her –
flanked by admirers, she glows as if
lit from within. A lily among reeds.
I can barely lift my gaze, shamed, even
as I recall her scent. Part loam, part clove –
not unlike spring's damp narcissus.
Her red silk, my sail. Irreversibly,
her curls twined to the east above my throat
as if seeking heat. Her weight upon me,
wanton. The petal of her tongue,
the thorn of her disdain. For she –
who dines on roses, who drinks from trumpets –
she desires more. She must have, must bear
a son she can sink her teeth into.

Sebastiano Ricci Flora, c. 1712–16

Sebastiano Ricci
Flora, c. 1712–16
Oil on canvas
The Suida–Manning Collection,
with support from The Cain Foundation in memory of Ettie Marie Cain, 1999

Poets

  • Marian Aitches
  • Robert Ayres
  • Wendy Barker
  • Anita M. Barnard
  • Sarah Blake
  • Jenny Browne
  • Nancy Connolly
  • Eric James Cruz
  • Chip Dameron
  • William Virgil Davis
  • Nicky Dearling
  • Melissa del Bosque
  • Jill Alexander Essbaum
  • Robert A. Fink
  • Vive Griffith
  • Marian Haddad
  • Albert Haley
  • J. Todd Hawkins
  • Kurt Heinzelman
  • Mike Henry
  • James Hoggard
  • W. Joe Hoppe
  • Diane Hueter
  • Judy Jensen
  • Steven G. Kellman
  • Mike Lieberman
  • Ed Madden
  • Sylvia Manning
  • Jennifer Margulies
  • Natasha Marin
  • David Meishen
  • Jack Myers
  • Katherine Durham Oldmixon
  • Andrew Osborn
  • Joy Palmer
  • Phillip Pardi
  • Kathleen Pierce
  • Mary-Lou Pilkinton
  • D'Arcy Randall
  • Del Marie Rogers
  • Pattiann Rogers
  • Liz Garton Scanlon
  • Susan Somers-Willett
  • Rebecca Spears
  • Scott Wiggerman