The two poems and Brueghel's painting make a great lesson for high schoolers.
Auden's poem begins:
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
This week's writing exercise: try your hand at an ekphrastic poem.
Choose a favorite work of art -- one that would stop you as you walked through a museum or gallery to have a conversation. What is it about the painting that "talks" to you?
Mine is by Mark Rothko (54).
I'm prepping for a poetry residency at Norwood Elementary in Dundalk, MD tomorrow, so time is short. Each Poetry Friday, I visit Laura Salas' blog: 15 Words or Less Poems. That blog, and my time constraints, inspired me to keep it short!
I know I'm not supposed to see realistic objects in a Rothko painting, but...
Torii at dusk,
I approach you.
What is beyond
your gate? Sleep,
dense as stone.
Have a fantastic ekphrastic experience, y'all.