Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gainsborough Hat

Okay, I admitt it, I'm a bit of a romantic.
I like poetry that paints a vivid picture.
The following poem by my favorite author,
does just that, he paints a picture of a delicate
1890's lady in a way that captures me. Maybe it will you as well....

A Discouraging Model

Just the airest, faireist slip of a
With a Gainsborough hat, like a butterfly’s
Tilted up at one side with the juantiest
And a knot of red roses sewn in under
Where the shadows are lost in her
Then a cameo face, carven in on a
Of that shadowy hair where the roses
are wound;
And the gleam of a smile, O as fair
and as faint
And as sweet as the masters of old used
to paint
Round the lips of their favorite

And that lace at her throat—and the
fluttering hands
Snowing there, with a grace that no
art understands,
The flakes of their touches-fist flut-
tering at
The bow- then the roses – the hair—
And then that
Little tilt of the Gainsborough hat.

Ah, what artist on earth with a model
like this,
Holding not on his palette the tint of
a kiss,
Nor a pigment to hint of the hue of
her hair
Nor the gold of her smile – O what
artist could dare
To expect a result half so fair?
James Whitcomb Riley
There are so many lines in this that I like, especially how he plucks out of nowhere the line about the masters painting as though it were the lips of their favorite saint.

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