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