The Poet’s Corner: Painting to Poem at Home | Entertainment

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“”It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said.” — Jackson Pollock

So many wonderful artists and poets are choosing to stay safe from COVID-19 in the comfort of their homes. What if I send the poets some visual art and rouse them to consider writing an Ekphrastic poem? I remembered the quote by Robert McKee: “A fine work of art — music, dance, painting, story — has the power to silence the chatter in the mind and lift us to another place.”

Thanks to local artists Nancy Gates and Jim McDonald, I was able to send photos of their paintings to poets all around Napa Valley and beyond. What follows is a miracle collection of poems that, when standing next to Jim or Nancy’s paintings, create an exquisite duet. But, dear reader, these wonderful poems can stand on their own.

“No matter what people tell you words and ideas can change the world.” — anonymous

Sarah Miller was stirred by Jim MacDonald painting of a blue sky and intoxicating clouds:

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clouds lolling on the breeze

Eileen Tabios wrote about Jim’s painting of a starry night:

the immediate sky dampens

Nancy Gates’ “Mystical Crane,” flying through the evening air burnished by the sinking sun impelled Suzanne Bruce to write:

of a setting sun white crane

mellow horizon an unceasing reach — 

And from Marita Dorenbecher:

wings down, the great egret slows

under the red sky warning

the sun still glows golden

Nancy Gates fashioned a red barn in a familiar rural setting. Peggy Prescott responded:

The most iconic of pastoral images

traditional red barn beside a silo

filled with abundance, fruits of life

of hard, honest, humble work 

Jim McDonald gave the poets a painting that to me is an aerial view of a multilayered landscape. Brenda Davis was roused to write:

After being rooted in dark earthy layers

I rise from the hard ground

Jim McDonald’s painting of an open door into a room energized Karen Pierce Gonzalez to write:

Closed without a knob to turn,

it won’t open. Open it could let me in.

inside, I could look out the window

and see myself staring back

Hold this verse by Lorraine A. Visovsky the next time to visit an art gallery.

or single impressions of a whole

the artist’s thought when all done

They evoke different feelings

calmness, tumult, simplicity

Google a famous (or not) painting. Be curious about what shape your verse may take. Consider visiting Sam Chapman’s “Flowers from Monet’s Garden” in Yountville Community Center Gallery until April 8 for inspiration

“Painting is silent poetry and poetry is a painting that speaks.” — Plutarch



Lightforms is one of eight installations featured at the 2022 Lighted Art Festival, which opened Saturday in downtown Napa and will continue through March 13.











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