Friday, May 13, 2016

Saturday Show and Tell

As a result of doing the April challenge, I wanted to write a regular feature, but about a cross-section of things that illuminate my life. Hence - Saturday Show and Tell - a showcase of things each week that lit up my brain and fired my imagination. Enjoy!

Italo Calvino and Ekphrasis

Google's Doodle of the Day for his 88th b'day in 2011

Italo Calvino's name has been surfacing here and there in my world over the last few months, so I decided to see what the local library had to offer of his work. If you haven't explored the 850s section of the Dewey Decimal system, you are missing out.

I found a stiff and slim book called Collection of Sand. The title comes from the first essay which is a clear-eyed perspective of an exhibit of personal collections. I read that essay three times and found something magnificent each time. Just like the author found himself being drawn more deeply into the details of each collected bottle of sand, his words had the same effect, which presented a clever hall of mirrors.

The theme of this book is ekphrasis whereby the art of writing describes a presentation of visual art. I've written an ekphrastic poem about Klimt's The Kiss. It's a challenge that is part poetry and part puzzle, and can be a playful way to grow in your creative writing skills or smash writer's block.

Apparently, Calvino was best known for his fabulism, which is another word that has popped out of the universe to wave hello this week. The artist who did the Google Doodle (Sophia Foster-Dimino) is referencing a story whereby the moon used to be close enough that one could row out into the ocean, climb a ladder, and frolic while jellyfish and crustaceans were overcome by its gravity and pulled from the sea. So, the Google Doodle is a reverse ekphrasis. Could that be an official definition of illustration?


Image result for picture of hamilton soundtrack

I am adding my incredulity, tears, and goosebumps to everyone else's. I bought the soundtrack for my daughter for her birthday, and we've been listening to it on the long drives into town. We haven't even made it to Act II yet, and I can already state without a doubt that this is one of the most intelligent, creative, and powerful works of writing and music I've experienced.

The show is sold out into 2017 and nominated for sixteen Tony awards. The internet is full of gushing and envy and joy over Lin-Miranda Manuel, and with excellent reason. Do yourself a favor and buy the album.

Personal News:

My short story for the Psyche & Cupid issue of Timeless Tales Magazine is live. You can read it here for free.

What are a few of the things driving your creativity and firing up your world? Please share in the comments!

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