Hearing the World Differently by Kate Young

Niagara, 1857 by Frederic Edwin Church
Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art


The gallery lies in silence.
Clusters of faces pause
canvas to canvas
lips miming words,
the unheard musings of the many.
I inhale their movement,
jackets and backpacks jostle
the canvas to my right
the vertical drop of Niagara Falls
drawing us into its power.
The tide turns.
My eyes conjure sounds
only I can hear,
decibels of cyan and teal
the roar of acrylic licking the frame.
I taste the grit of salt on teeth,
sea-spray fresh on my face.
Violet tones colour my mood,
the distinctive tang of oil on wood.
I open my senses, hear it all.

This poem, inspired by Frederic Edwin Church’s 1857 painting Niagara, was first published in The Ekphrastic ReviewOctober 20, 2023 in their Ekphrastic Challenges series. Read about ekphrastic poetry in Niagara.

Kate Young

Kate Young lives in England and enjoys writing poetry, painting and playing the guitar and ukulele. Her poems have appeared in various webzines, magazines, and Chapbooks. Her work has also featured in the anthologies Places of Poetry and Write Out Loud. Her pamphlet A Spark in the Darkness has been published by Hedgehog Press and her next pamphlet Beyond the School Gate is due to be published in May 2024. Find her on Twitter @Kateyoung12poet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *