New poem in The Ekphrastic Review

Although I love to read Ekphrastic poems, which are poems written in response to visual art, it’s not a form I’ve experimented with very much.

“Description” in Greek. An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art.

From the Glossary of Poetic terms, poetry foundation

When I lived in London, England in my twenties, the Tate Gallery became a regular haunt. One of my favourite works of art was “St Francis and the Birds” by Sir Stanley Spencer.

The painting is so dynamic and features a St. Francis who is so very different from the gaunt man of poverty described in the bible. I loved this painting immediately, and later framed a postcard version that still hangs in my home.

A picture of the painting by Sir Stanley Spencer, in the collection of The Tate Gallery
St Francis and the Birds, Sir Stanley Spencer, 1935

In the last ten years my family has raised chickens for their eggs, and over time they’ve become one of my favourite responsibilities. It’s a role that can be complicated when considering the prey who also occupy the land where we live.

Last summer, the connection between St. Francis, Spencer’s painting, and my own experience of raising domestic poultry came together and I workshopped a poem with a wonderful group who provided some great feedback.

I spent the fall and winter tinkering with the poem, and it’s only when I gathered another story of raising ducks from a friend in my community, that the poem finally coalesced for me.

My first pick for publishing this poem was The Ekphrastic Review, and I’m so pleased that they were keen to pick it up. Many thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for the opportunity to appear in this wonderful online literary journal, which publishes a new poem every day.

Published by Dagne Forrest

Dagne Forrest lives and works in a small town just west of Canada's capital. She shares her life with several other humans, an athletic labrador retriever who suffers from separation anxiety, three cats, and a small flock of chickens. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in journals in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. In 2021 she was one of 15 poets featured in Canada’s Poem in Your Pocket campaign.

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