Ophelia

Lady sings
the blues,
the reds, whatever

she can find—

–Kevin Young, “Stardust”

She dreams
in the languages
of flowers,
wandering
corridors
of vast gardens
fragrant
with the chaos
inside her heart.
Lady sings

in riddles–
bouquets
of rhymes
imagining
an oasis
of roses,
an enchantment
blooming into
the mystery of
the blues.

Who will be
her lover now?
Where is
the prince
to penetrate
the thorns
enclosing
her mind?  Blood
shadowed with
the reds, whatever

her grief has
aborted  
into deceptive
darkness.  She is
muted into
madness. She is
drowning
in every aromatic
sepulcher
she can find.

The NaPoWriMo prompt for day 3 was to write a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza.

Kevin Young is writing about Billie Holiday. Like Ophelia, she is associated with flowers, and had her own ways of drowning in her sorrows. My collage is based on a painting by Redon, who visited the subject of Ophelia many times.

I’ve incorporated roses into my poem for Muri’s poetry scavenger hunt.

21 thoughts on “Ophelia

    1. Thanks Merril. I don’t think I would have thought of it if Jane hadn’t just used the painting. That got me thinking of my collage, and Kevin Young’s words just seemed to fit.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ‘vast gardens
    fragrant
    with the chaos
    inside her heart.’ 👌❤️

    I love the echoes of Millais’ Ophelia in your collage, and the strikingly contrasted colours.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an amazing conjunction of themes. By chance I was just listening to a song of hers, “Deep Song”, with several lines I can’t get out of my head. She didn’t write them but oh she felt them. You’ve done a beautiful job conjuring her spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

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