Neil Ellman

kandinsky several circles 1926
Wassily Kandinsky, Several Circles (1926)

After Kandinsky’s Several Circles

In a bubble bath
Of Kandinsky shapes
A universe of rings
Circling in an orbit
Of his own design
Infinite and halved by time’s

After Matisse’s Blue Nude with Hair in the Wind

She danced seductively
Through Paris streets
Mere memories
And now a paper cut-out doll in blue
Is all that she can be.

captive 1940

Paul Klee, Captive (1940)

After Klee’s Captive

A tortured face
One eye out of place
Turned upside down
A maddened grin
Without signs of grace
Imprisoned in a field of blue

After De Chirico’s The Anxious Journey

The street is empty now
Silent colonnades
And shadows reach
Like groping hands—
Even the pigeons
Have fled the public square
To be safe again.

pollock 1942-4
Jackson Pollock, Untitled (1942-44)

After an Untitled Pollock Painting

The painting has no name
To give it one
Would make it seem
A portrait of a ghost
Which isn’t what it is—

After Brancusi’s Bird in Space

Even without wings
It wants to soar above the clouds
Free of earth
Its burnished skin
On fire
Like Icarus fallen from the sky.

Matta the end of everything 1942
Roberto Matta, The End of Everything (1942)

After Matta’s The End of Everything

I thought the world would end this way
The sky in flames
With broken strings
And shattered light
But never knew
It would have been so soon.


Neil Ellman is a retired educator with a life-long interest in art and poetry. He has been (or will be published) in numerous print and online national and international journals from “A” (Anastomoo) to “Z” (Zygote in my Coffee). He has produced two chapbooks, both consisting of ekphrastic poems: Illusions Delusions and Dreams: Visions of the Surreal In Art (Naissance, 2009) and Galleys and Galleries: Ekphrastic Reflections on Modern Art (forthcoming from Pudding House Publications).

One response to “Neil Ellman”

  1. Dottie says:

    Congratulations and best wishes on your success of your poetry. Dottie Sandok Cohen

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