Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shawna Lemay on writing...

Shawna Lemay was recently on the Lemon Hound blog talking about her experience writing ekphrastic poetry. Here is a snippet:

"My approach is in spirals, I walk around in my mind, around the painting. I try to see the supports, the stretcher and the nails, the frame might be important. It might not be. The tooth of the canvas is of particular interest of course.

Ecstatic, elastic, there is often a fragrance that must be absorbed.

I think about the word, ekphrastic. A cough. A quiver, a thrum. A clearing of the throat. I think about tomato soup being poured whole out of a can, adding milk to it. That glory.

I think about ekphrasis as a rhetorical device, how I’m too old for rhetorical devices, and how I’m afraid of heights. And I won’t even get into the competition aspect of the procedure. More than anything else I crave an inner peace and a solitude of the soul. Sometimes what I really want to write about is exhaustion and shyness but this might make matters not worse exactly, but I think it would make me less sympathetic to the spectrum of ineluctable encounters with suburbanites."

Read the entire blog entry at