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Sundays, Oct 4 - Oct 4
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Workshop meets weekly: 2 sessions
Genre: Poetry 
  • Fall 2020
Time of Day:
Room: Zoom Room 3


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Heaney’s Ekphrasis Imperative

‘We conclude then, that succession of time is the department of the poet, as space is that of the painter.’ –Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Laocoön: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry, 1767

In this class, we will look at the concept of Ekphrasis as applied by the Belfast poets of the 1960’s and beyond (Seamus Heaney’s “North,” Ciaron Carson’s “Still Life,” Sinead Morrissey’s “Parrallax” and Stephen Sexton’s “If All the World and Love Were Young” in particular).

We will be considering various ways the poet can enter the ekphrastic mindset (Narrativizing the artwork, Narrativizing the making of the artwork, staging an experience with the artwork, finding formal or procedural equivalents to the artwork). We will also question the lines drawn by Lessing’s description of ekphrasis by examining Stephen Sexton’s work “If All the World and Love Were Young,” in which Sexton describes the slow death of his mother via “the slow moving, otherworldly narrative” of Super Mario Brothers. We will then use this new knowledge to attempt to see beyond Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” in crafting our own ekphrastic poems that are fresh and inviting.

Please note: This class is an online class. To participate, students must have a stable internet connection with a computer or device with a webcam and microphone.

  • October 4

The MuseTeacher: Steven Blythe

Prerequisite: Open to: poets with some workshop experience