Images: A Collection of Ekphrastic Poems
by Michael Escoubas
29 Poems ~ 29 Paintings & Photographs ~ 58 Pages
Format: 5½ x 8½
or direct from the author: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE BOOK:
At the suggestion and encouragement of poet and publisher Sharmagne Leland-St.
John, poet Michael Escoubas has written a companion volume to Leland-St. John’s
Images: A Collection of Ekphratic Poetry. This unique project features two collec-
tions which share the same book title and images. However, each poet has worked
independently writing different poetic expressions for each artwork. As editorial
colleagues of the highly regarded online poetry journal Quill and Parchment, the
two writers share a common interest in ekphrastic poetry as Q & P showcases the
genre each month. “Ekphrasis” is a Greek term meaning “description.” In this su-
perb collection, the poems do more than merely “describe.” They call forth the
very heart of the poet.
This compilation of ekphrastic poetry draws the eye, pulling in details of the im-
ages and wrapping them in an ever-flowing movement of wonderful narratives.
Each page is beautifully presented with a painting or photograph; figurative,
scenic, or homely with a final monochrome emphasising the starkness of humani-
ty's hand. Whether walking through the seasons and feeling the vibrancy of nature
or observing of the richness and reality of life, these poems brim with imagination.
Michael's words which bring elements of humour, romance, and nostalgia, are
thought provoking, and bound together with optimism and hope.
—Annie Jenkin, widely published British poet and co-editor, Ocean City Stories by
The Waterfront Writers
In his book, Images: A Collection of Ekphrastic Poetry, Michael Escoubas tells the
truth as he sees it and expertly names the feelings from the various paintings and
photographs presented. He writes with warmth and compassion in each situation.
He is non-judgmental of human circumstances, as in “Resting,” about a woman
still in bed after her lover has long gone. He speaks gently for the woods in his
poem “Light across the Trail.” These 29 ekphrastic poems come from paintings
by van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet and others, to various photographs including but-
erflies and the moon, to a photograph of a man carrying Hector Pieterson toward
the press cars in “Soweto, June 16, 1976. This poet has easily succeeded in doing
the poet’s job as defined by Jane Kenyon. A book worth reading!
—Barbara Robinette, author of Affirmation
Accessible, immediate, absorbing—and delightfully quiet—Images: A Collection
of Ekphrastic Poetry by Michael Escoubas is a book of repose. Michael is an ac-
complished poet of ekphrasis, that wildly popular genre that allows readers to leap
from a work of art into a reflective work of literature. Here are paintings, photo-
graphs, a quilt and a piece of embroidery that lead us into words woven with
flashes of wisdom (“We live in the/ continuous mystery of now.”), moments of
tenderness (“ … he takes a moment to tie/ the orchid around her wrist …”), even
brief lessons in art history (“ … you became the bridge/ between Monet and Picas-
so … .”). Art, and the poetry of art, enables healing. Thanks to Michael, a seer and
teacher, we may emerge from his pages having come to “love the austerity of ice-
—Karla Linn Merrifield, author of Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Regarded as something of a late bloomer, Michael Escoubas did not write for pub-
lication until after his retirement from a career in the printing industry (2013), at
age 66. Prior to this Michael read, studied, and educated himself in poetry for ap-
proximately 25 years. Self-taught, his background includes studies in classical
poetry, modernist poetry, including the works of Dickinson, Whitman, Stevens,
Eliot, Frost, and many others. In addition, he has immersed himself in commen-
tary, theory, and philosophy of poetry.
Images: A Collection of Ekphrastic Poems, is Michael’s fifth collection. He has
also published one chapbook, Light Comes Softly, two other collections of ek-
phrastic poems, Monet in Poetry and Paint (2018), Steve Henderson in poetry and
Paint (2019), and one book of devotional poems based on the Covid-19 Pandemic,
Little Book of Devotions: Poems that Connect Nature, God, and Man (2020).
FROM THE BOOK:
Village by the Sea
by Michael Escoubas
after a photograph by Victor Riehl
There is gentleness here
as the sun recedes
drenched in shades
of orange and yellow.
A touch of blue unites
sky and sea and life.
rough and rocky surfaces
like lovers walking
hand in hand
absorbed in each other—
the caressing of the sea
is like a song
the lovers sing.
Those who live here
know the sound of love
the sea's gentle hands.