Ekphrasis: Art and Poetry

An attempt at ekphrastic poetry, while trying to unravel the magic and mystery of a classic painting by Raja Ravi Verma. Kudos to The Woman Inc Poetry Project, Pooja Garg Singh, editor of WIPP and also to Anu Mahadev, fellow poet and writer for introducing this brilliant weekend writing prompt that celebrates a painter and his art and the writer’s/poet’s interpretation of the work of art.


‘The Lady with the Lamp’, a classic painting by the illustrious painter Raja Ravi Verma. Image source: The Woman Inc Poetry Project (Facebook writing group)

Shining on, the incandescent flame of her body
And being, resounds in scarlet dreams.
Her shadow, a silhouetted canvas etched
On the door from where she ascends,
Burns slowly in the flame as she
Waxes and wanes, melting with the flame.

The lamp, a mirror to the moonlight,
Crescent and dim, flickers and blazes
In the folds of her lotus palms.
The lamp is her uttered prayers,
Her domestic plate, her rebellion and her cliches.

The flame, a harvest of her love, growing
The wild flower of her blood raging,
She touches the red earth, smoldering
In the smoke and flame, she rises
Smooth, dark, numinous.

Lopa Banerjee. November 2014


4 thoughts on “Ekphrasis: Art and Poetry

  1. So humbled and honored, Reena! Yes, simply loved the beauty and radiance of the painting, hence was so inspired to write this humble tribute to it @Butterflies Of Time

    love always,

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