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.
That’s All We Need!
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
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