Until the word "serenely", Lord Byron's poem seems to prophesy Amy Winehouse. Perhaps the last eight lines are also apt, if we read them as what lies beneath her shadows. Certainly Amy and her art present a nocturnal beauty.
She was a flawed creature who thought herself ugly and who wrote "You Know I'm No Good." She was wrong.
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies, And all that's best of dark and bright Meets in her aspect and her eyes; Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impair'd the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress Or softly lightens o'er her face, Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek and o'er that brow So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent,— A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent. (1814)
Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) left us two distinct and impeccably produced albums, with a dozen or more songs yet to be released.
Girl Smoking by Wilhelm Sasnal, 2001. Sasnal is a realist not in the way he paints, but because he only paints what he has seen. When I came across this, I spent a long time studying her shocks of hair and the defiant turn of her neck. Click on the picture for a closer look.