Ekphrastic poem: Jenna Le, ‘The Implorer’

This figurine of bronze
cast by Camille Claudel,
known as Auguste Rodin’s
mentee and, for a spell,

his lover, is most striking
for being non-erotic–
desexed–despite depicting
a kneeling nude, lordotic

trunk outthrust at an angle,
headlong, precipitous,
arms outstretched not to strangle
one who broke faith, but just

to make a strangled gesture,
a soundless, ground-out groan,
the hauntings that oppress her
knowable to her alone.

*****

This ekphrastic poem was recently published in Able Muse.

Jenna Le writes: “I often draw inspiration from wandering around in art museums. The Implorer is a statuette I first saw at the Met. I find I’m especially attracted to artworks by women artists that portray female experience, and this bronze in particular called out to me because it radiated such a powerful sense of interiority, depicting a woman as not a muse or a reflective surface but as a source of painfully strong thought and emotion.”

Jenna Le (jennalewriting.com) is the author of three full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011), A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2017), and Manatee Lagoon (Acre Books, 2022). She won Poetry By The Sea’s inaugural sonnet competition. Her poems appear in AGNI, Pleiades, Verse Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. She works as a physician in New York City.

Photo: “File:The Implorer (L’Implorante) MET DP-13617-053.jpg” by Camille Claudel is marked with CC0 1.0.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s