Visual Response Poem

Visual Response Poem

A Lesson by Jodi Eaton

Poem response to an exceptional work of art


Visual Response Poem


  1. Write a poem about one of the reproductions—paintings or photographs—by searching for them in Google images.

  2. Comment on its details. What more can you “see,” what more can you say?

  3. Include the title and author of the work in your title.



Andrew Wyeth’s Cristina’s World


She lies

cradled in a vast yellow brown sea

wearing a faded pink dress,

her dark hair


futile efforts

to confine it.


A lonely scene

surrounds her,

a rusty outline,

once, maybe,

a plow

or a wagon,

a gray house


worn by time,

blank window



She takes all of this in.

But in her mind,

this is no desolate tableau.

The house is recently built,

two horses pull a wagon and a driver.

A woman,


watches a little girl

run through the tall grass.






Exceptional works of art to choose from:

Rembrandt’s Head of Christ

Salvador Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross (the crucifixion viewed from above)

Hans Holbein’s Dead Christ (emphasizing physical death)

Ansel Adam’s photograph Clearing Winter Storm

Edward J. Steichen’s photograph Rodin—Le Penseur

Durer’s Oswald Krell (a maniacal, dangerous face)

Giotto’s The Kiss (the look of Christ, the look of Judas, just before Judas kisses Christ)

Goya’s Execution of the Rebels on 3rd May, 1808

Picasso’s Guernica

Edvard Munch’s The Scream

Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (the streets are flat and barren, and the people, seen through the glass of the all-night coffee shop appear to be sitting in a spaceship)

Van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles

Picasso’s Three Musicians

Alfred Stieglitz’s photograph The Steerage

Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the isle of La Grande Jatte

M.C. Escher’s Ascending and Descending (duplicate men infinitely ascending and descending circularly, impossibly, the same square staircase)

Caravaggio’s The Calling of St. Matthew

Botticelli’s St. Augustine (the inspired scholar)

Gertrude Kasebier’s photograph Blessed Art Thou among Women (a girl in the wings about to go on stage)





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Jodi Eaton
Jodi Eaton

Worthington, OH