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SharingPoets@StPaul - May 2021

Read this month's unabridged discussion starter below. And make sure to send your name and email to Fr. Tom Holahan, CSP at to be included in the discussion group if you haven't already done so!

Sharing Poets for May 2021

The Greeks had a word for it: ἔκφρασις

Ekphrastic poems are those that deeply describe a scene, usually a work of art. Poetry is especially good at this task. Before immersive media, there was the ekphrastic poem that took its audience on a journey to the place and actions being described. This form is useful in another way: it provides the poet with a focus for creating the poem.

Let me point you in the direction of a video about the contemporary British painter Fred Cuming. His original narrative on his creative process forms a sort of poem about his work. Consider it an exercise in expanding and deepening your own creativity as well as an ekphrastic description of his work.

I always read as much daily news as I can. Often not for the big stuff, but for the small or esoteric – of such information poems are made.

April 12-16 was Black Hole Week, an effort by NASA to help us get familiar with the inexplicable reality of the black hole star, something that cannot be seen because even light cannot escape its gravity. Recently a zoom by astrophysicists seeking to detect black holes fell apart when one participant asked the simple question, “What do you call a collective of black holes?” This is when the poet needs to speak. Any poems out there on the subject? And why did you decide to call a group of black holes what you did? For instance, if there are gaggles of geese, should there be screams of black holes? If there are murders of crows, should there be crush of black holes? Think about it…then perhaps write about it.

Enjoy the spring!

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