“Things You Cannot Answer” by Margaret Donsbach TomlinsonPosted by Rattle
Ekphrastic Challenge, September 2015: Editor’s Choice
Painting by Sarah Oyetunde. “Things You Cannot Answer” was written by Margaret Donsbach Tomlinson for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, September 2015, and selected by Timothy Green as the Editor’s Choice winner.
Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “From the moment I read the first line of this poem, I knew it would be my choice—the sonorous, lilting rhythm already had Oyetunde’s dreamy sea captured perfectly, where ‘sleep knits together the real and unreal.’ I could read this poem again and again, just as I could stare at this painting all day.”
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 September, the image was a painting by Sarah Oyetunde. We received 242 entries, and the artist and Rattle’s editor each chose their favorite. Oyetunde’s choice was posted the previous Friday. For more information on the Ekphrastic Challenge visit its page. See other poets’ responses or post your own by joining our Facebook group.