another daydream

another daydream

Monday, January 29, 2018

Borrowing from Hamlet

Scene at the Tate

Even in the gallery, there’s gossip.
Strangers talk about what was staged
––the model with silver gown
stayed hours in a tin tub, laid out
like caviar––to the general view,
a maiden voyage. And Millais, 
Pre-Raphaelite, realist
to the manner born, grappled
with the Surrey flies, windy gusts,
and a notice for trespassing––
murder most foul of the hay. 
He confided to a friend,
“painting of a picture under
such circumstances would be greater
punishment to a murderer
than hanging.” Not to mention
the medical bill for Lizzie Siddal
of the bath, as warmth elapsed
for the sake of painstaking detail.  
Art exacts a price and so the heart––
Ophelia floats in her perpetual spring.