Like a great lily

‘On the calm black water where the stars are sleeping
White Ophelia floats like a great lily;
Floats very slowly, lying in her long veils…
– In the far-off woods you can hear them sound the mort.

For more than a thousand years sad Ophelia
Has passed, a white phantom, down the long black river.
For more than a thousand years her sweet madness
Has murmured its ballad to the evening breeze.

The wind kisses her breasts and unfolds in a wreath
Her great veils rising and falling with the waters;
The shivering willows weep on her shoulder,
The rushes lean over her wide, dreaming brow…’

Arthur Rimbaud, ‘Ophelia’

Experimental photographer Victor Burgin did a series of photographs based on Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Vertigo’, 1958. This shot combinesVertigo and John Everett Millais’s ‘Ophelia’ 1852.

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