Untitled (to Sappho) 1976, Cy Twombly
I read that line of poetry you inscribed, not as
Citation, not as illustration, but as lines--we are
Made of lines, visible, inseparable--actions
Of packed immediacy, choices of materials,
Colour, and drawing. I allow your work to thrust
Me into the present, that other way to read a
Poem aloud. Like a hyacinth in the mountains
Trampled by shepherds until only a purple stain
Remains: I read visual (hyacinth!), I read olfactory
(scent!), I read tactile (crushed by shepherds!),
And I read back to visual again (that stain left
behind!). And that smudge--a violet stain in wax
Crayon, sinuous, compressed, smell, touch, and
I join the act of reading--the sound of words.
G. E. Schwartz
G. E. Schwartz is the author of previous collections of poetry, Only Others Are, WORLD, Thinking In Tongues, and Murmurations, and lives in upstate New York.
The Ekphrastic Review
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