Pandora. A Picture. In mem. 11th Jan 1870


General Description

Date: 1870 January 11
Rhyme: blank verse
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: epistle

Scholarly Commentary


The poem interprets DGR's chalk drawing of his picture of Pandora. Its subtlety is perhaps most explicit in its final lines, where it is left ambiguous whether the “gift” refers to DGR's picture or to Pandora's box. That double reference, along with the realistic London setting, emphasizes the poem's view of DGR's aesthetic idealism as a dark reflex of, and commentary upon, the artist's position in the world of late nineteenth-century London. In that respect the poem draws an arresting parallel between DGR's and Baudelaire's urbanized aesthetic practices.

In 1874 a similar poetical interpretation (written as a sonnet) was composed for DGR's large oil Dante's Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice.

Printing History

The manuscript poem has never been printed.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: poem002.raw.xml