Updated: Feb 20, 2019
(from Sketches: An Ekphrasic Journey)
A Note From The Author
When my sister suddenly died in late May of 2004, I was the one who cleaned out her apartment and decided what to keep, throw away, or donate. Her drawings were one of the main items I kept. I tucked them away in my closet for two years and then in my basement when I married and moved.
Three years after my move and five years after my sister’s death; I pulled out her portfolio stuffed with sketchbooks and old posters (movie posters from the NYC train stations) which were filled with renderings of faces, body parts, and patterns. I flipped through the sketchbooks and noticed completed drawings as well as incomplete ones. As I continued to flip the pages, I wondered what the subjects in the drawings were thinking. I sat looking at these portraits and figures, then it came to me, I could have the subjects voice their thoughts through the vessel of poetry. I gathered all the drawings that spoke to me and photocopied them to store in a book report folder.
My journey began when I intensely examined the first drawing and wrote a poem. I was steadfast writing and had about four to five pieces when I presented them to my writing group. After my reading/presentation, another member said that my work reminded him of Khalil Gibran because of my use of drawings and poetry. He told me a little about Khalil Gibran and suggested that I read The Prophet.
For the next couple of weeks, I made it a point to search my favorite thrift shops for Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet (I know I could have gotten it on the internet but I’m a book lover). I did not find it but I found A Tear and A Smile, his earlier work when he was in his twenties. I read the first poem, A Tear and A Smile, and skimmed through some of the book. I admit that I didn’t finish the book, but I was inspired by what I read.
Putting Sketches: An Ekphrasic Journey together has taken me seven years to complete. I did not want to rush and waited for the drawings to speak to me and for the poems to find their image to exist. Also, during the publishing process, I had started reading A Tear and A Smile again and I know it is going to sound sappy… but… I cried. I cried because I felt so connected to Khalil Gibran. He wrote A Tear and A Smile when he was young and saw the beauty in life with all of its bitter sweetness. He wanted us to believe in the healing power of Hope and Love. At this time, with the world in turmoil, we need these messages of Hope and Love so understanding can flourish. I’m wishing that Sketches: An Ekphrasic Journey will help with this blossoming.
To order Sketches: An Ekphrasic Journey (Click Here)
(Top picture: Alberta Overstreet)