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This poem is taken from PN Review 86, Volume 18 Number 6, July - August 1992.

The Woman Mistaken for a Hat Ann Atkinson

His pictures hang chronologically. Observe
Doctor, the development of vision. Once
he could paint as well as he could sing
From what was real, to focus between edge
and negative, then interplay of hand, brush,
colour uncontained, agnosia of form. See.
Here he began to look at sound

In the garden she becomes a tree which speaks
to offer him a rose. What is this?
A green of sharps, a form of convoluted red
which lacks platonic solid symmetry. Smell it
and he sings - die Rose, die Lillie, dum de dum -
and picks his way into a house, remembering.

Common nouns are guessing games. Is shoe
like foot a key for floor, a wife more hat
than head. Music shapes his order now.

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