Day 23: ek-phrasis

The prompt today brought me back to ekphrasis; I feel I’ve done this quite a lot recently, so many art inspired poems, so I ended up taking inspiration from the wikipedia definition of ekphrasis:

‘The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, ‘out’ and ‘speak’ respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name.’

Excellent, that is just what poets do right? They try to call an inanimate object by name, so here is my poem examining this idea randomly!

Inanimate object,

I call you by your name.

Your true name, the one magicians know

The one witches whisper, the shaman calls your name

Up from the depths of a mind’s many rivers

Speak, and suffer the consequences of being named

Generate your personality, structure your appearance

For you have been named, and names have power

I write your name on a piece of paper

And bury it somewhere far from houses, marked by a bent tree.

No one but me can retrieve it, this name of yours,

It cannot be found by hunting, only perhaps one day

Someone will stumble on it, and mutter it, and even this

Quiet muttering will wake you from your sleep

As fiercely you will be pulled from your rest as if

I had proclaimed your name from a platform to the world

Do not trust these poets, and their naming ways

They will oust you from the comfort of anonymity

They will rename you, metaphor you, and take apart

Your name to its syllables, its stresses, it’s masculine and feminine

 Its assonance will be stickily examined,

Inanimate object, I call you by your name.


The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in BeccaAudra, NaPoWriMo, NAPOWRIMO Becca

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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