Thursday, February 5, 2015

Portrait of Mademoiselle Alice Guerin, 1884 (Paul Cesar Helleu), and Photograph of Alice Guerin, 2008, Sonnet #228

Here's my Alice, and le mademoiselle,
One hundred and twenty-two years apart.
Perhaps reincarnation is an art,
Time dipping its paintbrush into a well,
Its empty well, and drawing forth nothing,
Which, touching dimension again, it plies
Itself (whatever that is) -- thus a thing
Of beauty, in a smile, red hair, bright eyes,
And spirit that seems familiar to men,
Is recovered and rendered new again.
The melancholia, faint with kindness,
Of the first girl, is joy on my child's face.
As it mixes new colors, time's blindness
Paints over all that it cannot erase.