In a small Italian town
in some quiet station cafe
at a chequerboard tablecloth
beside a vase of summer flowers
in every hue of Welcome and Farewell,
a pretty young woman in a scarlet blouse
sits with head bowed in silent contemplation,
entirely cloistered from the mayhem outside:
a passing tram brimful of passengers; and
market traders driving hard bargains with
a blend of gesticulation and negotiation;
a frieze of noise; backdrop of clamour
that doesn't touch her. Undisturbed,
she holds this space between
arrival and departure
Janina Aza Karpinska
Editor's Note: This poem was written in response to Italian Station Cafe (1952), by Robert Sawyers. You can see it by clicking here. The related but different image shown by Hopper was not the original source of the ekphrasis.
Janina Aza Karpinska is an artist-poet with an M.A. In Creative Writing & Personal Development, Sussex University; Foundation in Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design, and Foundation in Person-Centred Art Therapy, Crawley College. 1st Prize Winner of The Cannon Open Poetry Competition, 2007; published work in Poems in the Waiting Room; Museum Tales; and the Iron Book of Humorous Verse, and exhibited artwork in galleries, and magazines.
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