Ekphrasic Poems

This week, we learned all about ekphrastic poetry! This kind of poetry is inspired and written about a piece of art. First, we read two ekphrastic poems: one by a student poet that was inspired by the painting “Solitary Orpheus” by Giogio de Chirico and the second: a poem called “Replica of The Thinker” by Matthew Olzmann. We read the poems, looked at the pieces of art, and talked about what we noticed and liked, and how the poem brought new meaning to the art piece. Then students were given some art pieces to look at before they brainstormed and wrote their own ekphrastic poems. Check out a few of them below!

Mr. Smith’s Classroom

The Love for Earth (inspired by the art piece “Koko Crater” by Monte Dolack)

by Brenda

The love of earth is the place

you live in, the place that can

make you feel alive and the air in the sky

that could fly you to peace

it is big enough for your dreams

the beautiful sunset that the sky brings us

the earth is the most beautiful thing

Just imagine a field of flowers and trees

Earth does that

Love Earth just as much

as the things it brings you

Black and White (inspired by Hiro Yamagata’s painting “Approaching the Finish Line”)

by Heleny

Everything is very dark and depressed

They might be playing a game

Who knows?

There are stones, flowers, people

and people and flowers and stores

There is a little boy who

wanted a balloon

his father refused and they


The world looks so hard

even without color the world is sad

I don’t want a world without color.

Mr. Hollich’s Classroom

Salmon (inspired by Monte Dolack’s painting “Ressurection”)

by Juan

Salmon going upriver

doing the same life cycle

going upstream putting eggs there

and then they go back

and then after some weeks you see

a lot of trouts around

but it’s not the same for

Coho and King Salmon

they go upstream, put eggs out

and die, that’s their life

cycle which is different

than the Steelhead cycle.

Meaning (inspired by Monte Dolack’s painting called “Animal Rites”)

by Jazmin

the meaning of an art piece can be important

This could have meant that

us humans try to hunt down

animals and always have

Bad and good animals

but in reality they are

all just animals

all are good

all are equal

all are important

all bond together

without being bad or hurtful

They are just

trying to survive in the wild

without people trying to hunt them

They are strong.

The White Buffalo (inspired by Monte Dolack’s art piece “Big Medicine)

by Joshua

The white buffalo is alone

There is no one but it left

All alike are gone

taken away

it’s the last one left

but that’s okay

It’s different now.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.