23 words · poetry

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw

She cinched it too tight –
I can hardly breathe, and yet
Composed, I pose here,
While imagining little
Ways to punish that servant

I’m going beyond the 23 words of my Ekphrastic Tanka (5-7-5-7-7) — To be honest, I’m not really sure I did the Tanka right because I know good poetry is more that counting syllables.

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (by John Singer Sargent) looks annoyed, doesn’t she? That’s all I see when I look at the painting.

And yet that seems so unfair to Lady Agnew. What if I’m just projecting my own annoyances onto her.

How about this tanka, instead.

I’m going to sneeze
I mean it — I can feel it
Rising, rising up –
So that my eyes smart [breathe in,
Relax, slowly breathe] — ACHOO

Really, it’s a lovely painting. I’m not trying to make fun of Lady Agnew. I want to know what she’s thinking. Is it deeper thoughts than the little annoyances she may be experiencing?