Thomas Girtin’s Bamburgh Castle: 9 out of 10

In the ninth of ten ekphrastic poems interpreting and describing Romantic paintings we have the second from Thomas Girtin.

J.M.W. Turner, who was friends with Girtin and is widely considered to be Britain’s greatest landscape artist said that he would have lived in poverty had Girtin not died young.

Structure and Explanation

The poem works from the top right corner of the painting down through the castle tower doorway, which provides the folding middle line, and continues down to the left hand bottom corner of the painting in the lower half of the poem.

The poem has a simple structure of 3-5-5-4- 4 -4-5-5-3 words per line.

The Poem

Gatekeeper of Light: Girtin’s Bamburgh Castle

Grey skies swirling
around blue sky a burring
heaven sent hole in cloud
letting sun shine down

On Bamburgh Castle tower

gatekeeper opens to leave
light exit the doorway onto
seagull flock circle a twirling
Storm seas whirling

The Painting

Thomas Girtin's Bamburgh Castle
Thomas Girtin's Bamburgh Castle

Copied from Wikipedia.

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