THROWBACK THURSDAY: Selections by Alarie Tennille
SMALL TASTES THAT WILL MAKE YOU CRAVE MORE
Before the meal, fine restaurants often present you with an amuse bouche, French for “mouth amusement.” It’s a small, complimentary appetizer, often just a single bit, so wonderful you want to order everything on the menu…or maybe that’s just me.
I delight in short poems. They don’t have to be haiku short, but they always wow me by accomplishing so much with an economy of words. I could read them all day. Here are a few short masterpieces I selected from previous Octobers and Novembers at The Ekphrastic Review. I hope they’ll make you want to look around at your old favorites and keep coming back for more. Bon appetite!
I’ll also challenge you with a writing prompt. Revisit a poem or short fiction of your own that’s over 20 lines long and rewrite your thoughts in half the words. Maybe it should start three or four stanzas later. Maybe you tacked on a wrap up that wasn’t needed. Experiment. Revision is one of the best ways to get around writer’s block.
I am the promise you didn't keep, by Sarah Russell
Sarah Russell captures the secret to brevity: not filling in what should be left open.
Rumblings of the Earth, by Neil Ellman
Look how much we can learn from the masters. Neil echoes the message of Sarah Russell. We don’t need or shouldn’t need others to tell us what we will become or what our art means.
The Little Girl in the Painting, by Jean L. Kreiling
It pays to revisit poems you’ve enjoyed from the past. Initially, I enjoyed how Kreiling portrayed the thoughts of a child. Her brevity reflects the little girl’s eagerness to slip away. Only on rereading did I realize this was a rondel, a 13-line French verse form that we don’t come across every day.
When Alice Became the Rabbit, by Cyndi MacMillan
I laugh at the author’s audacity in contradicting Lewis Carroll. Here’s another good writing exercise: set some well-known story or legend on its head. Since most legends and myths have been passed along by men, it’s easy for a feminist to say, “Now wait a minute!”
Editor's Note: This story was nominated for Best Microfiction, and was selected by the Best Microfiction series for publication in their annual award anthology!
Wind-Swirl, by Joann Grisetti
I suppose it’s obvious by now that I gravitate to the art created by our editor, Lorette C. Luzajic. By using abstractions and leaving empty space, she invites writers to tie a few juicy details from the canvas into their own thoughts. Voilá! A collaboration that is something new.
The Persistence of Memory, by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
I love the author’s certainty: Dali knew “Those clocks/ could not tell time at all.” That’s the fun of being an artist or poet. We get to play by our own rules.
Call for Throwback Thursday Selections!
Be a guest editor for a Throwback Thursday! We occasionally post this feature on Thursdays and would love to do so more often. Pick around 10 favourite or random posts from the archives of The Ekphrastic Review. Use the format you see above: title, name of author, a sentence or two about your choice, or a pulled line from the work, and the link. Include a bio and if you wish, a note to readers about the Review, your relationship to the journal, ekphrastic writing in general, or any other relevant subject. Put THROWBACK THURSDAYS in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You sharing your favourites or making a random selection for discovery helps writers get readers. We have over 5000 pieces of ekphrastic literature on this site and at least 1000 different writers. Show us the ones that moved you over the years.
Along with your picks, send a vintage photo of yourself, too! Let's have fun with this!
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