The Old Chair (Ekphrasis)

by Sylvia   Apr 26, 2009

What secrets do you know?
Through the years, souls you have borne,
the young couple soon to be wed,
upon your lap, joyful children after a day of hide and seek,
a mourning widow who lost the love of her life.
Comfort and consolation that has worn you down.

Cane slats weathered by tears,
torn by the to and fro motion
of a mother rocking her child.
Banished to the meadow,
abandoned by mortals.

Once cloaked in vibrant browns
now muted, faded by loneliness.
Rays of light upon the empty seat,
do you desire rebirth,
to become more than a repository
for a crystal vase of roses.

Copyright © 2009 Sylvia All Rights Reserved

Link to the painting by John Singer Sargent (1885):

Ekphrasis, also spelled as ecphrasis, from the Greek word ek (out of) and phrasis (speech or expression), is a poetry form that takes its inspiration from visual art.


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Latest Comments

  • 11 years ago

    by anand singh

    The imagery and the story behind it is well portrayed.
    Your'e truly a master in any form or style of writing.
    Gret job my friend.

  • 11 years ago

    by Dreamofolwin

    I really loved this poem Cindy. It is full of memories and emotions, lol. The words "faded by loneliness" and "the empty seat" especially touched my they reminded me of a song my mother used to sing called "sitting alone in an old rocking chair." Excellent write.

  • 11 years ago

    by Dixiedaisy

    Oh Sylvia this was such a touching piece. I have thought of writing along the same subject but never could pen something that fit. You have done an outstanding job on this and brought to life memories of my childhood and young adulthood. Thanks.

    Take Care,

  • 11 years ago

    by Robert Gardiner

    Very Nicely Penned!!!

  • 11 years ago

    by Corinne

    Sylvia - This is wonderful! I love the personification of the chair and the image of children sitting in its lap - and the idea that the color has faded from loneliness.