When dealing with the question of ekphrasis it is customary to stress the living tradition of ekphrasis, to emphasize that there is an unbroken line from Homer’s description of Achilles’ shield up until now. In other words, the similarities of ekphrasis in different periods of time are usually brought out. In what follows I will focus on some examples of ekphrasis in the writings of Italo Calvino and the Danish writer Per Højholt in order to suggest some of the new tendencies and problems in ekphrasis in the twentieth century.