Ophelia, 1851

For Elizabeth Siddal

Grace Harvey


departed from myth

your violet gown, four pounds

second-hand, oil

lamp heated bathtub, floating

in Millais mind, reality his London flat


faced not with a willow from which to fall

instead, a leaking, water-stained ceiling

English rain dripping

on your forehead, between

your parted lips.


dear Ophelia, did you beg

turn the heat up, I’m freezing

or did sickness make

you more the muse

bring you closer to emulation.


chalky white skin

turned paler, lips bruised blue

did you dream of drowning?

as she once did

did he praise your performance?


did you long to weave

yourself a crown of flowers

teeter along the edge of death

fall, singing all the while

into madness.

Author: Grace Harvey is a third-year creative writing student, QUT Lit Salon’s 2022 Co-President, and Brisbane based fiction writer. Her work can be found at ScratchThat, GLASS Magazine, and most places online @graceharveywrites.

Artist: SaBelle Pobjoy-Sherriff is a third year visual arts student minoring in film. Her art practice has an in depth focus on ideas of narrative and mythology, and tends to border on the obscure. She utilises illustration and sculpture to create vibrant worlds and creatures. You can find more on her Instagram @SaBelleeee.