Art – Poetry – Kara Emily Krantz and Elizabeth Decasse

For our 2018 Art & Poetry pairing, one pairing was with artist Kara Emily Krantz and poet Elizabeth Decasse.

Here are the works they created!

Kara Emily Krantz provided this artwork to Elizabeth:

In response, Elizabeth wrote the following poem:


and so He put ink to paper
and her story began.

the beginning:
crying hungry crying
dirty crying hungry
crying crying crying

she learns to depend on no one
but herself

the middle:
she becomes an expert at dodgeball,
objects constantly flying at home

she becomes a master chef at age ten,
feeding the littles while mama sleeps

she becomes a live-in maid,
leaving no stain behind

out of fear
of punishment
of shame
of inadequacy
of retribution

she becomes a little adult
as the adults who care for her
couldn’t care less

she tells Him each night,
begs him for help
because he’s the only one
she can safely tell

she asks Him why
why this life
why her
why anyone
she thinks He’s come through
when they finally move on
when the adults “save” them

but that story’s just beginning

He places her in a whirlwind,
in the hands of countless others-
those who are worse even than her own
those who are in it for the money
those who mean well but just don’t know how

until finally
He shows her one that listens
that doesn’t hurt
that doesn’t yell
that takes control
but gives freedom

one that loves

the end:
she isn’t happy, or
not the way you might expect

but she has grown
she has overcome
she has forgiven

her stories scatter across the state,
pages torn and ashen in her wake
cast to the dirt, and set ablaze

and she is reborn
as she was always meant to be.

prologue ii:
and so she opens to a blank page,
and so she lays ink to paper
and so her story begins anew.

The second half of this pairing involved Elizabeth giving Kara Emily a poem as a starting point. Elizabeth provided this poem:

A Letter of Gratitude

a letter of gratitude-

to you who bares your soul,
     revealing more to me – some stranger,
     some fellow traveler through life –

you have shown me / that which you cannot yourself see,
and for that, / i am blessed. and i am grateful. and i am in awe.

you have shown me / that which is within all of us
suffering / strength, hope / among that which feels hopeless.

you have shown me / that which others cannot have
an inherent trust / which i shall keep sacred.

i am blessed / to have known you,
witnessed your struggles / and basked in your light

i am grateful / to have been receiver
of that which makes you / you, and

i am in awe / of that beauty within you,
of your courage to open yourself

you have shown me / that which you begin to see,
a soul on the path of healing.

and i thank you –
     from the bottom of my heart,
     i thank you, i thank you / for that which
     you have shown me / that which i shall always see

remember your light
and i shall continue to stoke that fire.

-a witness.

In response, Kara Emily created this artwork:

2018 Art-Poetry Pairing main page