Friday, 2 December 2016

A sample of what I'm doing on my MA Course

I love working on my Masters Course and I’m glad I decided to opt for part-time because it is allowing me to savour every bit of creative writing that I’m producing. As promised several months ago, I'm going to share a bit of my work with you.

One of the many areas we've been looking at is ekphrasis writing. This is writing creatively from a piece of artwork and it has caught my imagination big time. My first attempt was from a picture called Messiah that is in Leicester’s New Walk Museum German Expressionist Collection. At first glance I mistook it to be representative of Hitler Youth and the Führer’s hoped-for Arian race but then I discovered that Ernst Neuschul painted it in 1919, before the rise of Nazism. He had an exhibition of his paintings closed down by the Nazis because he was Jewish. He also lost his teaching post for the same reason and managed to escape Prague just in time to save his life.

When he painted this picture he was a young artist and a yoga enthusiast, and possibly thought that the world would be a kinder place.

Based on the painting ‘Messiah,’ 
by Ernst Neuschul

The symmetry of sunbeams
across angular mountains
that hypnotic manic stare

finger on fourth chakra
body proud
yoga honed
the conceit
of youthful talent

before Juden war Verboten
before the daub of swastikas
before the last train out of Prague

I'm working on my first piece of assessed work now so I may be quiet for a little while longer. At least I'm absent from here for the very best of reasons. I'm having a great time. 


  1. wow - quite impressive. I give a thumbs up. Good luck and keep enjoying your new journey

  2. Ros - this is fab. Good to know you are enjoying the course so much.

  3. Hi Ros - thanks for introducing us to Neuschul and to ekphrasis writing ... you are stretching yourself - but how great and as you say ... so worthwhile. Enjoy ... your poem really brings home the horror of a Jewish life under the Nazis ... yet exploring the ekphrasis aspect of writing ... clever - all the best as you continue on -Hilary

  4. I've never heard of ekphrasis writing before, Ros. This is brilliant! I can imagine how inspiring that would be! So glad you are enjoying your course so much!

  5. That's powerful! Just the simplicity, observation, and the placing it in history; quite extraordinary. I take my hat off to you, Ros! And look forward to more.

  6. Striking. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to hearing more.

  7. I've never seen this painting, so that was interesting. Then I read your poem...and that was so moving. Thank you.

  8. Hi Ros, It's over 2 years since I even looked at my blog, but here I am. Well done for starting a Master's course. I was lost when mine ended and I feel as if I've been treading water ever since. Adrift, but still afloat. Good luck. So exciting. I would do it all over again if I could afford it.


Thank you for commenting. I do love receiving comments. Your comment will be sent to me for moderation before appearing here.

If you do not have a Google account, click on the Google account box and select Anonymous. Spam comments are not accepted on this blog.