Putting the English Language to a Good Use

Christina Rosetti is the lesser-known poet sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti who was a big name in the Pre Raphaelite art movement, which produced quite a lot of beautiful paintings but I will not discuss much here. What I will say is that the painting above is by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and is Proserpine. (To my knowledge) the model is his wife, who posed for many, many of his romanticized portraits of angels and fairytale, otherworldly women, but who was in reality plagued by depression which ultimately led her to suicide. Christina wrote this poem afterward as she watched her brother continually mourning his lost wife. One account I read said that he was never able to really move on and that his paintings constantly reflected her as a fairy or character from fiction or some other fantasy. You can kind of see that in looking at his paintings. This poem makes me feel sad for him.

In An Artist’s Studio by Christina Rossetti
One face looks out from all his canvasses,
One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans;
We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer greens,
A saint, an angel; every canvass means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
And she with true kind eyes looks back on him
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light;
Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.

Also I just saw this, and think it qualifies as pretty good poetry too:

I found it here.


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