NaPoWriMo Day 1: Ode to Picasso

Time for NaPoWriMo again.  The challenge is to write a poem a day.  Today’s challenge is this:

“The prompt for all you early birds is an ekphrastic poem – a poem inspired by or about a work of art. There are no rules on the form for an ekphrastic poem, so you could write a sonnet or a haiku or free verse. Some well-known ekphrastic poems include Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo and Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn. But ekphrastic poetry is alive and well today, too, as your efforts today will reflect.”

Here is the lithograph I based my poem on:

And here is my poem:

On Picasso’s Imaginary Self-Portrait

Is it conceit or self-knowledge
that makes you paint yourself
in the ruffed collar
of Shakespeare
or a clown?

Satyr, young at heart,
your merry countenance
masks darker moods and behaviors,
the bright pigments
hiding a more somber undercoat.

your children
and your mistresses
might paint you as master:
stern, egotistical,
but always with the backlit inspiration
of genius.
Yet, old goat,
you paint yourself a clown.

10 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo Day 1: Ode to Picasso

  1. Patti

    I love NaPoWriMo–especially the fact that all I have to do is enjoy your efforts. Thanks, Judy, for being the talented one in the family.


  2. okeating

    Nice one, Judy! You’re off to as flying start! 🙂 I’m doing it but without the prompts, as last year they often arrived too late to leave me time to write something. Have fun. One down, twenty-nine to go! 😉


  3. grieflessons Post author

    Thanks, O. I’m just home from the beach and getting ready for a reading tomorrow, so haven’t had a chance to read yours. Looking forward to doing so…Think I will do so now. Who needs sleep? Will comment when I’ve read it..J


  4. Ann O'Neal Garcia

    Love it when you dare to call the Master “Old Goat” … and I think it’s interesting how you imagine what he may have been hiding about himself or…perhaps telling about himself subconsciously when he painted this silly self-portrait. I also think it is so very cool when you mention the way his children and present mistress might paint him! In short, I love it.


  5. grieflessons Post author

    I am so glad you are taking time to write. I just spent 3 weeks at the beach with no wifi, phone or TV and I got so much done including sleep, reading, swimming, walking. I felt totally relaxed the entire time. Sometimes you have to take a time out to do what is most important to you and it is great great great that you’ve formed a group and are writing. Thanks, as usual, for the kind words. Want to see some of what i’ve been writing at the beach? J


  6. Pingback: Picasso’s “Imaginary Portrait” | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  7. janebasilblog

    I love it!
    I’ve never seen that painting before – my father used to say of Picasso “He’s not a bad draughtsman – not remarkable – but not bad. Why does he have to turn out such stupid rubbish?”
    Personally I think that anything which creates controversy by calling itself art, IS art.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Good. Whenever I repeat a post I figure most have probably not seen it before and if they have, perhaps they’ll think it warrants a second reading or at the very least they can just skip it! I have always forgotten what I have written–even yesterday, so it’s fun for me to see what I had to say in the past as well. I don’t know if that comes from age or just from writing so much that I’m on to the next thing and shove the last out of my memory. Just got home. It is nearly 10. Car comes for me at 3. Guess I won’t bother to sleep. Merry Xmas. I’m sure I’ll find time to post and read a bit in Phoenix, but we will see. Full house so there may be no place to write except in the bathroom! I’ve pulled that before when sharing a hotel room with someone. Merry Xmas, Dear friend! xoxo



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