You entered my heart on wings of music.
I think of you when camellias bloom,
When sun kisses rivers, or angelic
Voices whisper softly of gloom and doom.
On white silk handkerchief spots of red blood…
Red camellias on pure white marble…
From overcast grey sky weak sunshine flood…
Life’s history is unalterable.
Physical beauty into ashes turn,
The world is cruel and memories fade,
But to your resting place men still sojourn…
On white marble fresh camellias laid…
In gentle earth that bright flowers cover,
Your beauty and soul lives on forever.
© P. J. Oszmann (Paris. February 2004)
Note: (for those not familiar with the story of the Lady of the Camellias.)
Marie Duplessis, nee Alphonsine Plessis was the real life person behind Marguerite Gautier,
the heroine in Alexander Dumas Fils novel and stage play of the Lady of
Verdi and his librettist used the stage play as the basis for his opera
Alphonsine Plessis died of tuberculosis at the tender age of 23.
She is buried in the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris.
(More about her in my article: The Miracle of Bėatrice and Alphonsine)
The Illustration is a photomontage of her tomb and her portrait.
A visit to her grave a few days ago inspired this poem.