Framing Catastrophe: The Ekphrastic Prose Poem

Wright, Patrick (2022). Framing Catastrophe: The Ekphrastic Prose Poem. In: Caldwell, Anne and Hardwick, Paul eds. Prose Poetry in Theory and Practice. London: Routledge, pp. 156–170.



This chapter investigates ways in which ekphrasis might engage with prose poetry, and how the shape and formal properties of a poem often relate to those of an image. In particular, it focuses upon ways in which ekphrasis might be developed when working with paintings that are abstract or monochromatic, and how making use of this kind of image may lend itself to the prose poem. Prose poetry has been described as a form that is recursive, circular, and suitable for subjects such as trauma or disaster, and this chapter makes a case for the appropriateness of the form in ekphrastic responses to artworks that appear to represent formlessness or catastrophe while containing it. It also addresses framing devices and the boundaries that govern both the poem and the painting, and how these correspond to each other.

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