Still Life with Apples, Paul Cezanne (c.1890)
Allegory of the Apple
Most perfect of her kind at the table
Beauty of such proportions I do mull
Resisting a bite unsure if able
My ravenous heartbeat there is no lull
Do dare to hold her softly in my hands
To move her towards my hungering lips
For such a sweet delight there were no plans
Reality of this must come to grips
All control have I admittedly lost
Knowing my thoughts are surely to anger
Must consume this beauty at any cost
Burning desire can no longer deter
Yes the sweet flawless apple I did eat
There will be penance for this tasteful treat
Sappho and Phaon, David Jacques-Louis (1809)
Sappho and Phaon
Sappho, such control of poetic words,
But thy heart runs unrestrained as a stag.
Surely did not follow songs of love birds
Phaon with great ease thy heart did he snag
Were thou charmed by Aphrodite’s gift to him?
A competitor of her Adonis.
Soon causing thou to feel more than a whim,
Phaon so willing to accept your muss.
Thou and he created a carnal fire.
He expressed an insatiable desire.
Of thy loving touch he early did tire.
Abandoned, alone now to play thy lyre.
Thy asking the fates this love to remove,
If not let thee drown. The fates did behoove.
Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Halling (c. 1860)
If were to die with unfulfilled passion
What would happen to my beleaguered soul
To wander a dark wasteland so barren
My hurting story will remain untold
Nay I say with yet unknown breaths to take
It is my love that you have forsaken
In my heart you have placed a piercing stake
But not a love which will soon come undone
You enter my dreams cruelly each night
To take you completely is your command
Beauty so tasteful within my sight
I reach but it is not you in my hand
A curse to this day is over my head
Saying I love you cannot be unsaid
Broken Vows, Philip Hermogenes Calderon (1856)
Without seeing, feel love no longer true
His touch not now as it was at the start
Feeling grieving black, not bright sunny blue
The aching pain, crushing my bleeding heart
Needing to know, one day followed his path
Much laughter each enjoying the folly
Would it be correct to display my wrath
Thinking my character it would sully
Without showing anger called him a rake
Said that within me there remains a glow
Asked if what he’s doing be a mistake
His answer being that he did not know
Once felt we were one, now we are apart
Hoping to overcome a broken heart
Windflowers, John William Waterhouse (1902)
Thou garner my flowers then dash away,
Thy beauty is much greater than their sum.
Alluring garden would be if thou stay,
Just remain ‘til thee be final blossom.
Sent the wind to touch your ivory skin.
Purer than that of newborn mother’s milk,
Protecting thy beauty which burns within.
Come stay awhile so I may touch thy silk.
Do sense a hesitation in thy pace,
Thy action causes heartbeat to increase.
Turn so I may see thy beautiful face,
This feeling of love for thee shall not cease.
Let me braid my flowers into thy hair,
And I shall give my heart to thee to wear.
The Rose, Frederic Soulacroix, (n.d.)
‘Tis my wanting heart I have sent thy way
Being fragile needing thy tender care
Between thy breasts for safety it must stay
No thorns are present to give thee a scare
Sorry that the token rose having tossed
Errantly missing its intended mark
Hope this not an omen to be star-crossed
As wishes in my heart to increase this spark
But why the sadden look upon thy face
Thine eyes are missing their usual glow
If thou wear a smile isn’t in the right place
Is something in thy heart I need to know
Thy quick response surely unsuspected
For it is woeful to be rejected
Woman Fastening Her Garter, Edouard Manet (1879)
In a cold darkened world of loneliness
Two bodies unexpectedly collide
Each searching for a special happiness
Both with different lives they wish to hide
Man and woman in need of the same thing
The warm gentle caress of human touch
No sign of untanned lines of wedding rings
Soon they’re within each other’s hungry clutch
Neither one at all fond of keeping score
Finding changes in their deepest feelings
Suddenly realizing they want more
The sharing joys that being in love brings
Neither asking questions the other’s past
Too busy ensuring that love will last