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In the Light of Naples: The Art of Francesco de Mura

The Bridge Poetry Series highlights an esteemed literary tradition: poetry inspired by art. This series establishes a unique opportunity for Wisconsin poets to write and read ekphrastic poems. In the second century AD, ekphrasis (description) was a rhetorical exercise of creating mental images with words, and it frequently began with a description of artworks.

Madison poets Katrin Talbot, Sara Parrell, Susan Elbe, and Jesse Lee Kercheval launched the Bridge Poetry Series in collaboration with the Chazen Museum of Art. This series creates a venue for poetry in Madison which highlights ekphrastic poetry, or poetry about works of art. This reading is part of a semi-annual program of poetry about art. Twice yearly, about a dozen Wisconsin poets are invited to write poems inspired by works in one of the museum’s temporary exhibitions, directly linking art and poetry.

For the Bridge Poetry Series reading on March 30, 2017, poets wrote in response to In the Light of Naples: The Art of Francesco de Mura. Their poems are published here. Enjoy.

photo by Eric Baillies

The Annunciation, Marilyn Annucci

Francesco de Mura As Seen By His Goddess, Margaret Benbow

Pentimento: Francesco de Mura at the Chazen, Martha Jackson Kaplan

Charity to Her Husband Upon His Arriving Home Late, Gillian Nevers

Two Annunciations, Andrea Potos

Aurora: Goddess of Dawn & Tithonus, Prince of Taroy, a Scene, James P. Roberts

St. Joseph’s Day, Richard Roe

The Drop and Treble Continuo, Katrin Talbot