IMAGE & POEM (JULY 2010)

About Lady on A Chaise Lounge

Lady On A Chaise Lounge takes the idea of the "unknown Odalisque" , so beautifully featured in Marie-France's painting, and defines what is unknown about this alluring woman. She is not the typical, erotic servant who graces the male harem. Her poise is openly revealed in the sleek flow of hair and body. Yet, her face and expression remain hidden, a tantalizing mystery.

Beyond her presence, there is a window capturing the sea and an elegant boat on the horizon. The vessel with its crisp sail "waiting to lured by an island", is a hypnotic vision meant to entice the man watching her. She has the power to read minds and create a mirage. In this way, she becomes the mistress of her own fate and selects who will serve and pleasure her the most.

The last stanza emphasizes this concept very strongly. As she rises to face her admirer, her confidence and protective canine control the setting with breathtaking temptation and awe. The man is dazzled yet unnerved by the dangerous nuances of her boudoir. He clearly understands she is the one "who rules this harem of dreams, who stirs and quiets the wild impulse within."


© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.