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This poem is taken from PN Review 112, Volume 23 Number 2, November - December 1996.

Four Sonnets Sophie Hannah


Not knowing you, I thought I knew your type -
how you'd behave, the sort of thing you'd say.
I guessed you'd be inclined to take a swipe
at anybody getting in your way.
I told my friends you were like this, like that,
had you evading taxes, cutting throats,
gave you a line in patronising chat,
presented my imaginings as quotes.

But your behaviour is exemplary.
Your words have been, without exception, kind.
Do you have preconceived ideas of me?
If I am not yet typecast in your mind,
can I suggest the fool who will insist
on putting words in mouths she should have kissed?

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