What is Ekphrastic Poetry?
"Ekphrasis is the use of vivid language to describe or respond to a work of visual art.
Borrowed from the Greek term ékphrasis, or “description,” the purpose of ekphrasis was to describe a thing with such detail that the reader could envision it as if it were present... Ekphrastic writing became important in the second half of the 18th century when a public demand for descriptions of art arose. There were no accurate reproductions of works of visual art to distribute to the public, so the art had to be shared through language. The goal for these ekphrastic writers was to impart a visual experience on their readers.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, ekphrasis continued to change, exchanging the tradition of elaborate description for interpretation or interrogation. The poet John Hollander wrote that poets’ new ways of writing about art included “addressing the image, making it speak, speaking of it interpretively, meditating upon the moment of viewing it, and so forth.""