Response to the poem by Christina Rossetti
In an Artist’s Studio
One face looks out from all his canvases,
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 canvas means
The same one meaning, neither more or 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.
Into the Void
many tails intrude upon her absence
the multitudes crawl or creep or lumber
we see them leaping without encumber
the void steals from them their very essence.
a slug gleams in cornered luminescence
a luminary ere clouds outnumber
a ghost, a demon – abandoned umber
scatter empty into obsolescence.
her valiant escape to peace is haunted
hordes shadow her upon their ev’ry whim
dark as sun and sorrowful they wanted;
such joy with grasping, and with glory brim;
as they are, or were when hate was daunted
so as they are, as she subdues the dim.