Elizabeth Siddal Rossetti, Cemetery Superstar

LindaAnn LoSchiavo

Retaining fame 160 years
After I died unknown — artwork unsold,
My verses unpublished— has been bizarre.
Do stars need darkness to appreciate
Their glowing? Or wise men to point them out?

My temperamental husband, mad with guilt,
Laid me to rest with poems, his bound book.
This he missed — more than my companionship.
Where’s my work now? Just then there came a crash.

Rude crowbars pried apart my long-sealed lid.
Men open-mouthed like choristers stared shocked.

Distraught, he’d sent them. Dig her up! He’ll learn
My flesh looked pale, my red hair’s grown more wild.

Rossetti’s poems sweetened maggots’ meals.
Worm-eaten scraps had crowned my coffined head,
A spectral tapestry akin to my
Ophelia pose, a dead girl prettified,
Myself a teen when painted by Millais.
A painting’s fame forgets dead models — but
Art helps us dream back everything that’s lost.



Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, recently Poetry SuperHighway’s Poet of the Week, is a member of SFPA and The Dramatists Guild. Elgin Award-winners “A Route Obscure and Lonely” and “Concupiscent Consumption” are her latest poetry titles. Forthcoming is a paranormal collection of ghost poems, a collaborative horror chapbook, and an Italian-centric book,“Flirting with the Fire Gods, inspired by her Aeolian Island heritage. She has been leading a poetry critique group for two years. Her Texas Guinan documentary was awarded Best Feature Documentary at The New York Women’s Film Fest. https://linktr.ee/LindaAnn.LoSchiavo Twitter: @Mae_Westside YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHm1NZIlTZybLTFA44wwdfg