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This poem is taken from PN Review 157, Volume 30 Number 5, May - June 2004.

The Curious Dreamer Sheenagh Pugh

How then can the curious drawer watch, and as it were catch those lovely graces, witty smilings and those stolen glances which suddenly like lightning pass, and another countenance taketh place?
Nicholas Hilliard: The Arte of Limning


1. The Ermine

And with a pretty little tooth of some ferret or stoat or other wild little beast you may burnish your gold and silver.

She is almost lost in points of light.
Her gown the dark ground, sown

with gold and silver, stiff with jewels,
her ruff a radiance, as if

her face shed moonlight. I have made
filigree of her hair. On her left sleeve,

through intricate patterns, crevasses
of velvet, a small wild creature

climbs like a pet. You may see,
if you will, majesty

in the tiny crown it wears, virginity
in the startling white I ground
...


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