Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Friday, October 14, 2016

#14: The Scream . . .

Edvard Munch, "The Scream" (1893)
Source: Wikipedia

What inspired this blood red sky?
This roiling dark ocean nearly rising to the hills?
This terror? All else in the painting
seems ordinary as two men stroll
along a boardwalk. Munch says the colors
shrieked, it felt as if "an infinite scream 
was passing through nature."

I first saw "The Scream" when I was twelve.
I thought it a reaction to World War II,
some global horror.
But the date was wrong.
And yet, Munch reports feeling faint, anxious. 
Critics suggest the recent explosion of Krakatoa
may have influenced him. Or a nearby slaughterhouse, 
a lunatic asylum. I only know the terror
he captured in this painting 
resonated with me, as if the world were ending
while some walked by unaware.
Every day someone lives in this scream.


Today's prompt from OctPoWriMo asks us to explore something shameful, perhaps inspired by this week's political news. Ah, but I don't want to go there. Yes, I will watch the coming debate (leaving the room when the tension becomes intense). I will  hope for a focus on details -- philosophy of leadership, and I will vote. Democracy is fragile. But I don't want to argue, or watch stalking behavior, or listen to people shrieking at each other. That seems shameful in a debate. There, I've said it. Now to move on.

So today's topic is now up to me. Over at Writer's Digest's poetry prompts, Robert Lee Brewer suggests an ekphrastic poem, that is a poem inspired by art. Now, there's a direction for today. Which painting shall I explore? Which painting do I remember seeing first?  Read more about Edvard Munch HERE.

Read a few poets from OctPoWriMo here.