Sonnet: “O Rare White Rose of Regal Splendor” and John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X”

“Madame X” by John Singer Sargent

Wrote this sonnet after seeing a reproduction in an art book of John Singer Sargent’s exquisite painting, ‘Madame X’:

O Rare white rose of regal splendor
Of Davidian standing – statuesque,
Alabaster skin of ghostly pallor
Against the midnight satin carapace.
Gaze averted as if coyly demure;
Lips unyielding yet yielding to a kiss.
Aloof beauty burning with passion pure,
Bearing a sceptered fan with which to bless.
On a low table, fingers hold steadfast,
As if to anchor the rising ardor
That smolders intensely but cannot last,
But must come to rest in some calm harbor.
     The artist’s brush has frozen in this moment
     All of beauty’s haughty pride and torment.

( “O Rare White Rose of Regal Splendor” © Poeticmeditation, 2012. All rights reserved. )


About poeticmeditations

A 19th-century romantic poet living in the 21st-century. The Romantic poets, nib pens, candlelight, waistcoats, and pocket watches are a few of my favorite things.
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