She Read Phantasmagoric Tales

girl reading on tree

7×9″ charcoal on recycled paper
June 22, 2012

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Inspired by the following passage from A Hidden Life by George MacDonald:

She was not one who of herself could be;
And she had found no heart which, tuned with hers,
Would beat in rhythm, growing into rime.
She read phantasmagoric tales, sans salt,
Sans hope, sans growth; or listlessly conversed
With phantom-visitors–ladies, not friends,
Mere spectral forms from fashion’s concave glass.
She haunted gay assemblies, ill-content–
Witched woods to hide in from her better self,
And danced, and sang, and ached.

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