In an Artist's Studio
One face looks out from all his canvasses,
One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans;
We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer greens,
A saint, an angel; -- every canvass means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
And she with true kind eyes looks back on him
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light;
Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.
This Sonnet follows the English pattern of 4-4-4-2. In this pattern of sonnet the three sets of 4 generally state different ideas, and the last 2 lines wrap up the entire poem. The rhyme pattern in this poem follows a pattern, that i didn't find in the book, but i think the pattern is abba abba cdcd ce. Christina Rossetti's poem discusses a familiar face found in all of an artists paintings. The face is seen in different types of positions "...walks or leans, hidden just beyond those screens", but is seen in all of the paintings. The 4-4-4 part of the poem is used to describe the different forms the face takes, she is a "queen, and a nameless girl". In the last two stanzas the narrator describes the girl being drawn as she was in the past, or how the painter wants to perceives her as, (in his dreams). So, to wrap up the sonnet, i think that Rossetti is stating that the artists paintings don't depict reality, but depicts life and people how he wants or wishes it could be.