The Rectangular Table (Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review)

mary 1s

My poem, “The Rectangular Table” has been posted at The Ekphrastic Review today. The painting that inspired it, The Last Supper by Sister Plautilla Nelli, is below.


I have a little sketchbook that I take along to museums where I draw the faces and sometimes the hands of the Marys I see in paintings, but especially in sculpture.  Since the museums closed, I’ve been drawing from photos of art I find online.

mary 2s

Why do these images resonate with me?  Unlike representations of Jesus, they seem to reflect an actual human the artist knows and loves…a sister, wife, mother, daughter.  All those denied a place at the rectangular table.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

You can read my poem, along with other responses to the painting, here.

9 thoughts on “The Rectangular Table (Poem up at The Ekphrastic Review)

  1. Such a potent composition, but I’m especially enraptured by your sketches and visual art. We are very fond of Marian mythology over by this side of the Atlantic; Our Lady of Fatima (towards which I pilgrimaged three times in my life, and little sentiment beats that of walking 150 miles with friends over a week), and Our Lady of Lourdes, which I’ve visited once, are such important elements of how Iberian folks worship and live spiritually. I’m not religious myself, but since little, I’ve been in awe that such a patriarchal religion in such a patriarchal place produced, what is essentially, the only form of itself that resembles the matriarchalisms known of ancient times, as those of Cybele, Gaia and the Triple Goddess. Well, once the only form, but Christianity in South America, chiefly Mexico and Brazil, has also taken a matriarchal shape, which has produced some delicious art as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yes the Central and South Americans adapted Christianity to fit into their own culture, rather than accepting it as “better”, and the Virgin plays a prominent role, producing wonderful art. (K)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your perspective, and I’m glad your poem was included. I forgot to look for this challenge, but like Jane, I would not have come up with anything. You did a great job.
    I like your art work, too, especially your second one where she seems like a real person, who is not necessarily pleased.
    My older daughter also sketches in museums, but when she and I walk through, we like to find all the ugly babies. 🤣 I don’t know why those old artists couldn’t paint babies–and didn’t know where women’s breasts are located.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Merril. It’s fascinating to look at the way the body has been depicted over time. It’s difficult to draw babies well in any era! And children–you have to get the proportions just right. I find it quite hard. (K)

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