The Completed Set of Ten Romantic Art Interpretations

Today we have the tenth and final ekphrastic poem interpreting and describing Romantic paintings.

Hannibal and His Men Crossing the Alps is the second from J.M.W. Turner, and is thought to have been inspired by a storm experienced by Turner on Otley Chevin near Leeds.

Structure and Explanation

The poem works from top to bottom of the painting, with the mountains and light in the middle of the painting providing the folding middle line.

The storm fills the top half, and Hannibal’s army the bottom.

The words per line mirror with a 2-2-3-5-4-4- 5 -4-4-5-3-2-2 count.

The Poem

That’s All We Need!

swirling storm
arching cobralike
ready to strike
sheer skin of many greys
twisting as if crazed
below aiming head above

mountains silhouetted against distant light

observe Hannibal lead the
dispersing as in panic
men and elephants of war
hoping to survive
scattering birdlike
gimme shelter

The Painting

Turner's Hannibal Crossing the Alps
Turner's Hannibal Crossing the Alps

Copied from Wikipedia

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