Short Poem Saturday – Goya’s “Two Old People Eating Soup” – Van Duyn

Goya_VanDuynToday’s poem, by Mona Van Duyn, is a wonderful example of ekphrastic poetry – poetry in response to another work of art.  I responded with my illustration for the poem before I checked to see precisely which Goya painting Ms. Van Duyn was referring to – you can see a photograph of that painting here. I focused on the color and shape of Ms. Van Duyn’s poem – and I think the movement from Goya’s painting through Van Duyn’s poem to my small attempt resembles a game of telephone! But that may be one of the super-powers of ekphrastic art: it takes on a life of its own. Ms. Van Duyn was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 1992-1993. Painting (acrylic on illustration board) and composition by me. Enjoy!


    1. Thank you, Kerfe! I would still like to do a real mail art/poetry “telephone” project – I think we discussed it at one point a ways back – it would be amazing to see how each person would transform the art or poetry! I just need to add more a couple more hours each day! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Claudia! I sat on this one for a long while, going back and forth about it – about the symmetry of the “beans”, mostly. I am glad that I finally let it fledge from the nest!


      1. That’s it, that’s what I thought, the little pink beans did not look regimented and in rows, but kind of free and dancing a little. (Sounds weird, I know, but that’s what I thought…)


    1. Thank you! I have a general familiarity with Goya’s work (the MFA Boston hosted an amazing exhibition of his work this year), but I didn’t know this particular painting – so just how different the painting’s palette was came as a complete surprise! I know people have organized “official” art telephone games, mailing other artists a small piece of mail art and then that person sends a new work based on the first work on to a new person…I would love to do/participate in something like that, but I’ve never been that organized!

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