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.
Dinah Roe has posted a three-part look at Christina Rossetti’s poem, ‘In An Artist’s Studio’. It’s a poem I have loved for years, because I believe that it was inspired by Christina’s observations of her brother’s relationship with Elizabeth Siddal. Even being quite familiar with the poem, Dinah’s posts have helped me to look at it from a deeper perspective. I encourage you to visit her blog Pre-Raphaelites in the City.
In An Artist’s Studio Analysis part 1
In An Artist’s Studio Analysis part 2
In An Artist’s Studio Analysis part 3