In the second in our blog series of Creative Writing exercises, 创意写作(荣誉) 课程领导 杰克博士麦高文 describes how we can use ‘ekphrasis’ as a writing exercise to create exciting new material 和 approach subjects in a novel manner.

这节课介绍“ekphrasis”。, a rhetorical technique (a technique used to practise 和 develop your writing skill) that you can use to inspire 和 revitalise your writing.


Ekphrasis来自希腊语 ‘ek’ (意思是来自或来自)和 “phrazein” (这意味着解释). So, ekphrasis literally means to ‘point out’ or to ‘describe.’

Ekphrasis involves a written or verbal response that has been inspired by a visual work of art. This could be a painting, sculpture or even a dance, any of these can act as a prompt.

The trick to ekphrasis is to try to avoid simply describing the work in front of you abstractly. You want to avoid merely saying “the painting is green,” your description should also include some elements of your own personal opinion of the piece you are using for inspiration.

A classical art meme that shows a man painting a self portrait. 文字上写着“1646年试图自拍."
古典艺术模因可以是一种表达方式. 图片来源:脸谱网 / classicalartmemes

You might discuss how a piece of art makes you feel or what it makes you think about (even if your train of thought goes in a completely different or unusual direction). It is all about using the artwork as a stimulus to help you explore your thoughts 和 create your writing. 做这件事没有错误的方法.

Ekphrasis has been used throughout history as a technique to create new writing. 例如, ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ by John Keats ‘L和scape with the fall of Icarus’ by William Carlos Williams or even classical art memes.



  1. 拿你最喜欢的画, movie poster or book cover or whatever else inspires you (Often, it’s easier to start with an image you're already familiar with).
  2. Give yourself a few moments to take a proper look at it.
  3. When you're ready, write a short story or a poem that is inspired by the image. 试着真正把握它给你的感觉.
  4. Maybe you’ll notice something about the image that you hadn't seen before 和 explore what it makes you think about, 这很好!

5. If you're having trouble getting started consider flipping the image upside down to see if it gives you a new insight or a new perspective to work with.

6. If inspiration still isn't striking, you don't have to go with a man-made object for inspiration. While traditional ekphrasis is a response to a piece of artwork, you could always take an image of something from the natural world.

Remember, there's no wrong answer or wrong way of doing it.

Here’s an example of a piece of work based on ekphrasis. 这是一首关于倒立的树的俳句诗:




We look forward to seeing your work 和 remember to join us for the next installment in our series.





想试试之前的练习? 学习如何 显示不告诉的 可以提高你的写作水平. 


This is the second part in our Creative Writing Exercises blog series to help you improve your writing 和 to act as inspiration. U2电竞体育的 创意写作(荣誉) course offers chances to explore these ideas 和 many more in greater depth under the guidance of published authors.

All views expressed in this blog are the Academic’s own 和 do not represent the views, policies or opinions of the U2电竞体育平台 or any of its partners.