Haiku & Other Poetry, History, tutto e niente

Friendship as a Metaphor

Not the time or place

Friendship as a metaphor

A true love denied

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“Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene,” was painted by Simeon Solomon. As a gay Jewish artist living in Victorian England, his work was almost lost to history.  Solomon, who was associated with the 19th century Pre-Raphaelite movement, had his career cut short when he was arrested twice for same-sex liaisons with men (in 1873 and 1874), at the apogee of his fame, and it tragically changed the course of his life.

After his prosecutions he no longer exhibited, although it was still collected by a select few. In 1884, he was admitted to the workhouse where he continued to produce work, but his life and talent were blighted by alcoholism. Twenty years later in 1905, he died from complications brought on by his alcoholism. He was buried at the Jewish Cemetery in Willesden.

Thanks to Linda Hill’s JusJotJan challenge for the inspiration to share this piece of history.


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