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This poem is taken from PN Review 42, Volume 11 Number 4, March - April 1985.

Three Poems Annemarie Austin

SLEEPERS

They are put into the world - these sleepers -
ultimately to subvert or to disturb . . .

Observe their posture, lifted on to one hip,
consciously composed with an onlooker in mind . . .

The Douanier's black gypsy is lying thus,
the Sleeping Beauty, or woman I have dreamt -

calm at her rest in a headland's green hollow,
interrupted knitting laid neatly on her breast.

Their stillness centres them, the world regroups around,
a prince past the horizon hears a silence call,

the lion's breath is caught in unearthly gypsy hair,
I search for the woman's dream having dreamt her sleeping.


THE CAT AND GIRLS OF BALTHUS
'La patience', 1954-5

The same pale leg extended, cat and girl;
...


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