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This poem is taken from PN Review 145, Volume 28 Number 5, May - June 2002.

Four Poems Marilyn Hacker

Troisième sans ascenseur

A square of sunlight on the study wall
is worth her notice, so she makes a note.
Various printings of the books she wrote
fill shelves encroaching on the narrow hall
but not her work-room: that's spare, practical.
Six dictionaries, Bartlett's Familiar Quot-
ations
, typewriter. Seventy-eight,
she's a technician of grammatical
rules in three languages, and that will do.
The desk is a librarian's, blonde oak.
The angle of her chair, turned toward a stack
of fine-lined blank notebooks, leads her eyes to
the bare wall blazing with its pristine one
tall north window, framing the winter sun.


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