The Bridesmaid, Robert Sieczkiewicz
You now a bridesmaid, soon to be the bride.
Eyes piercing beyond the present moment,
Cannot see that we shall be side by side,
As I on one knee propose engagement.
Your next pass will be the last, number nine.
Cease your stare and look across for I’m here.
A heart that has yearn to have you as mine.
It is faith that brings us near, have no fear.
Finally our eyes join, the truth confirmed.
Knees unsteady to you I venture near.
Starting a tomorrow that was once dreamed,
With hand extended to you with some fear.
Heart did smile at your acceptance to dance,
As your eyes glitter a sign of romance.
John Everett Millais did this painting at the tender age of 21. Like most men of that age he had love, sex and possibly marriage on his mind. I wrote the poem as if Millais was the speaker. He understands that she is in a virtual trance as she counts the number of times she passes the piece of wedding cake through the bride’s wedding ring. It is folk lore that in passing that piece of cake through the ring nine times she would get a vision of her true love. The speaker isn’t taking any changes. He is counting with her. And at nine he will jump into the scene.
There is much more about the possibility of religious symbols as well as a phallic symbols in the painting. There is even questioning if this is a reflection of her in a mirror or if she exists at all. I chose an upbeat road on this. And, the model, yes it is Elizabeth Siddal. We could spend months on her life.
Lips ruby red, coated with evening dew.
As they move forward my heart’s pace hastened.
She stops and offer petite smile askew.
Deep breath taken my heart was restarted.
Again she moves forward finger in lead,
That was extracted from between her lips.
Enjoyed finger’s taste, lips preferred instead.
Patience is needed for heavenly trips.
Through dinner the puppeteer’s strings did pull
to control motion. But failed at my thought.
By her act would have me think her a trull.
My heart harbor’s no vision of that sort.
Under the moon I will kiss lips so sweet,
Give her feelings of love that is complete.
Rossetti inscribed on the reverse side of this painting “Bocca baciata non perde ventura, anzi rinnova come fa la luna.” Which translates into “The mouth that has been kissed does not lose its savour, indeed it renews itself just as the moon does.” But a hard life does take its toll. Such will be the case for Fanny Cornforth. Although it appears that Rossetti use Fanny he did take care of her when they both started to fail. Wikipedia is a good jumping off place if you are interested in following the life of Fanny.
Fanny was 25 years old when she sat for Rossetti for Bocca Baciata. He shows a hard 25. What I feel is going on in this painting is a woman that is down on herself, low self esteem, and she would play people like she feels she has been played. In her mind there is physical connectives but for her the pairing of body and soul cannot happen. The speaker disagrees and is attempting to convert her.
Lady Lilith, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Wales is a splendid place for holiday
When in the company of Lady Lilith.
Eyes did meet with her at the entrance way
At my table soon was there with great stealth.
Gaze I did upon her beauty, she did
Show so openly, with my words so sparse.
Every part she moved was as if fluid,
While my parts were unbelievably coarse.
Scarlet fire encircled her perfect face.
Piercing Aqua eyes displaced my clothing,
While her scorpion’s venom marked its place.
Awakened to places never being.
Today was it femme fatale in the flesh,
Or desire of poet himself enmesh?
I have been spending some time reading about Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (a group of painters) and it reminds of Sir Francis Dashwood and Ben Franklin with their involvement in the Hellfire Club.
In the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood the same models were often used between painters and on at least one occasion a painter gave painting lessons to a model who became well quite an accomplished painter herself . The model in this painting is Fanny Cornforth who was also the lover of the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Is your head spinning yet, mine is. I think I’ll do something like a process chart and link painters and models and wives.
I put together some more words for my next poem as I stay with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, It will be his Bocca Baciata. With the painting is the following “Bocca baciata non perda ventura, anzi rinnova come fa la luna.” The foundation for my poem. Fanny was Dante’s lover at one time. But I haven’t got the time line worked out yet so I’ll stop here.
Day Dreams, Robert Sieczkiewicz
Fervent jealousy is the fool’s reckless
Pendulum of time which travels without
Remorse in irrational hopelessness
Knocking askew love in a painful rout.
Words escaped without logical filter
As would the axe of a brawny woodman.
Clearly defining you the assaulter
It is you to show a side that’s human.
Wounded is she by you yet so sublime.
Daily she travels to where you two meet
With peacock fan and thoughts of happy time.
Be humble ask if you may share the seat.
Plead your intent is not love to destroy
But you wish for turning sadness to joy
John William Waterhouse did this gorgeous painting some time around 1885. It was recently auctioned off to a private party and I feel fortunate to capture it from the Christie website. The balance in the painting is fantastic. The flatness it conveys can be seen in the woman’s posture as well as the wall. The dominant position for the peacock fan sends a signal to the viewer that she is hoping for something. By the look on her face it is not continued good fortune. The thought of using jealousy just popped into my mind. while looking at the painting. Jealousy can destroy so many relationships. To me jealousy is a sign of insecurity or guilt in a relationship and will eat away at it. However, if love is there the worst of problems can be worked out. Seeking forgiveness is not acting out of weakness but is a strength that you can bring to a relationship. Hope you enjoyed the poem and it made you think.
City Dance, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Music they play is as soft as your hair
If there are others I am unaware.
We dance ever so close I breathe your air
Excuse my eyes for their fixated stare.
Your waist toward me I gentle direct
So the pace of my rushing heart you feel
And surely my body shows no neglect.
This night to reveal my love is real.
These horrible gloves I wear with disdain
Same comment I make of the gloves you wear
As from your flawless skin I must abstain
To touch every inch of you without fear.
This night of lovely music will have ceased,
Encumbered passions finally released.
I have always been moved by the use of white in a painting, it is a magnet for the eye. Here it is no different. But after studying the dress lacks motion. But study the guy. He shows plenty of motion. His hair is messed up. The front looks like a circular saw blade. Study his hands, the deftness of them. They are definitely not those of a gorilla. Gently he coaxes her toward him. Were he a gorilla his had would be flatter demonstrating more force. The young ladies hand sits on his left hand. He does not grasp it. Giving a sense of guiding and not leading. His coattails also show motion. Either that or he likes heavy on the starch. My guess is she is in love on the love cloud. Study her expression. It that or she is a student of Arthur Murray and is counting steps.
The Love Potion, Evelyn De Morgan, 1903
The Love Potion
It is good what I seek from your potion
My love is now estranged from our shared bed
Displays no desire of true emotions
No matter tears or words of promise said
But if my folly to think such be true
All that is needed is a modest fee
Sip thy magic brew and we start anew
To once again be filled with endless glee
If thy alchemy in great quantity
be given to all who travel the earth
Would it not return greater sanctity
With human love having total rebirth
If thee not a clever charlatan be
Mix thy magic brew set the people free