At The Frick
Andrea del Verrocchio, the goldsmith, fecit,
brought he up curls intact from the marble--
the ties of her corpetto visible
above her gilet, the clip that adorns her
a gilded leaf. This man knew gilt,
embroidered it in stone on her upper arm.
Hogarth pictures his patron, Miss Edwards
and Miss Edwards’ spaniel
and Miss Edwards’ spaniel eyes,
and Miss Edwards’ dress, a scarlet pennant,
drawing our eyes to her torso, her dog
gazing up at her, pre-or-post snarl.
Joshua Reynolds, portraitist, produced
In Lady Skipworth, ennui. She engaged more
with the pink roses fairly leaping off
her bodice, with the lead powder, dead-white
on her forehead. She pouted at him from under
her blue-ribboned tulle and satin chapeau.
The women in pastels, in circus colours, promote
the ideal female form in body, in objects--
the bend of arm or hat brim, the curve of breast or scroll.
The ladies, aristocrat and peasant, with their curls
and dogs and ribbons demonstrate
how to die for beauty, be fondled by art.
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of two books, Reading Berryman to the Dog and Discount Fireworks and five chapbooks, most recently, They Went Down to the Beach to Play from locofo chaps and Chap Book from Platypus Press, UK. For more information, check her website at www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com.
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