My dear friends Kathy and Martin passed through Denver this week at the tailend of a road trip around the Southwest. Over dinner we asked them if they had any favorite ekphrastic poems, as we're teaching an ekphrastic poetry workshop next Thursday at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. That's how we learned that this, by W.B. Yeats, is Martin's favorite poem (he recited it to us, most wonderfully):
ON A PICTURE OF A BLACK CENTAUR BY EDMUND DULAC
YOUR hooves have stamped at the black margin of the wood,
Even where horrible green parrots call and swing.
My works are all stamped down into the sultry mud.
I knew that horse-play, knew it for a murderous thing.
What wholesome sun has ripened is wholesome food to eat,
And that alone; yet I, being driven half insane
Because of some green wing, gathered old mummy wheat
In the mad abstract dark and ground it grain by grain
And after baked it slowly in an oven; but now
I bring full-flavoured wine out of a barrel found
Where seven Ephesian topers slept and never knew
When Alexander's empire passed, they slept so sound.
Stretch out your limbs and sleep a long Saturnian sleep;
I have loved you better than my soul for all my words,
And there is none so fit to keep a watch and keep
Unwearied eyes upon those horrible green birds.
He had such a twinkle in his eye as he said those horrible green birds....
Check out these crazy-ass flowers! They're like rainbow sherbet: