This essay engages recent work in literary theory on the idea of ekphrasis especially in its interart dimension—the evocation of the plastic arts in literary texts —and argues that the idea is an energizing characteristic of the descriptive poem of the young man in Song 5:10–16. It surveys ancient and modern theorizations of ekphrasis, then considers the elements of statuary that characterize the description of the young man in light of material and literary culture from the ancient Near East. Finally, it offers suggestions about how this formulation bears on the reading of the poem itself.

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