Comment from the artist, Aparna Pathak, on her selection: “I read all the poems quite a number of times and enjoyed all the philosophical, mythological, psychological or personal ways in which photograph has been interpreted. Some poems were highly emotive while others had beautiful imagery and imagination. There were quite a few poems about fears of a parent or a child, but Grant Quackenbush’s ‘Ram Tested On Mount Vert’ grabbed my attention. The very first line gave me a judder and kept me inquisitive and interested till the end even though I was aware of its mythological connection. The dilemma of mind and heart touched me immensely. Lines like, ‘Ram was to offer Billy up, or down,’ creates suspense and ‘over thorny, flowerless brambles and gopher holes ransacked by snakes, they arrived at the switchbacks that led to the ruin, and stopped,’ creates anxiety. The use of simile in ‘his knees knocking together like a colt’s trying to stand in its new world governed by gravity’ is remarkable. The ending lines leave reader thoughtful. It is a well written poem where every stanza is well composed.” (website)
Note: This poem has been published exclusively online as part of our monthly Ekphrastic Challenge, in which we ask poets to respond to an image provided by a selected artist. This July, the image was a photograph by Aparna Pathak. We received 117 entries, and the artist and Rattle‘s editor each chose their favorite. Timothy Green’s choice will be posted next Friday. For more information on the Ekphrastic Challenge visit its page. See other poets’ responses or post your own by joining our Facebook group.