I made a pretty painting,
secured a reputation
with Ophelia. The secret is
laudanum—the floaty-floaty feeling—
and the shiver-chill
when the fire went out
under the tub
and left my teeth to clatter;
that’s what created my pallor,
gave the brush its worthy goal.
I held my quiet pose, always anxious
for verbal intercourse, though not
for the real thing.
Elizabeth Siddal (1829-1862) was an artist’s model, a painter, and a poet
associated with the Pre-Raphaelites and married to Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Return to table of contents for Issue 9 Summer 2015.