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An update from our fortieth Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, June 4

This week, Emma Hoff, 10, led workshop with her own interpretation of ekphrasis, a favorite topic of the Stone Soup workshops. For the workshop portion, Emma presented us with the following three paintings and their accompanying ekphrastic interpretations.

  1. The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso — "The Man with the Blue Guitar" by Wallace Stevens. These two are different in that Stevens' poem speaks of a blue guitar yet the only thing that isn't blue in Picasso's painting is the guitar. This is because Stevens speaks of a symbolic blue. Both works express modes/moods of sadness, or blueness.
  2. Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder — "Hunters in the Snow" by William Carlos Williams. WCW literally describes the painting, even references the painter. How does his reference of the painter affect the poem? Well, like the painting, which is crammed with details, William Carlos Williams crams his poem with details.
  3. House by the Railroad by Edward Hopper — "Edward Hopper and the House by Railroad" by Edward Hirsch. He, like WCW, is incorporating the painter. Hirsch really gets enamored with the painter. He's kind of antagonistic towards Edward Hopper.

After she'd shown us these three paintings and we together came up with interpretations, she asked us to choose between three more paintings in order to write an ekphrastic story/poem.

The Challenge: Write an ekphrasis story/poem about either People at the ZooThe Dream, or The Peasant Wedding

The Participants: Emma (presenter), Lina, Anna, Jolene, Josh, Elbert, Fatehbir, Ellie, Samantha, Chelsea, Alice, Advika, Shiva

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