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NaPoWriMo : Day 24 – Ekphrasis – Ant Art

National Poetry Writing Challenge Day 24 to write a poem of ekphrasis- that is a poem inspired by a work of art. Today’s challenge is to write a poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts.

My poem for today is based on the below 13th Century English Miscellany art on Ants.

margin2

There, on the wall, a piece of art,

From all the others, stands apart,

A story it tells, volumes it speaks; without saying a word,

A lesson it teaches for all who see, a lesson that cannot be heard, 

 

“Ants!”, you say, “Those creatures that barely exist!”,

“Pray, tell us how they could teach us; give us a gist”,

So, my story I begin, of these beings, trivial and small,

Painted and framed; now adorn the museum wall,

 

These ants, that you see, the ordinary ants,

The ones you find in the soil or close to plants,

In their mouth, they carry some food,

Or to build a home, some piece of  wood,

 

Silently, slowly and steadily, they carry their load,

Undeterred by bumps and pot-holes on the road,

Climbing every mountain on their way,

From the goal, they do not sway,

 

Cooperation and teamwork, they display,

Focus and hard-work, they portray, 

And you thought, “An insignificant, inconsequential piece of art!”,

A lesson for life, priceless and incomparable , it doth impart.

 

ants

 

 

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