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Sonnet XXIV

For through the painter must you see his skill
to find where your true image pictur'd lies

Mademoiselle by Suzanne Coley
Before some of my painting workshops, I would read a Shakespearean sonnet and let the participants use the poem as inspiration.  


Sonnet XXIV

Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath [stell'd]
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
And perspective it is best painter's art.
For through the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true image pictur'd lies,
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
Now we see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, wherethrough the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee,
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,
They draw but what they see, know not the heart.
Wm. Shakespeare

The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd Edition, 1997, p. 1847


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