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This poem is taken from PN Review 163, Volume 31 Number 5, May - June 2005.

A Fortuitous Event Grevel Lindop

In memory of 'A. E. Ellis' (Derek Lindsay, 1920-2001); author of
The Rack

Over the intercom, a woman's voice:
'He's dead. I'm sorry, it must be a shock.
I'll come down.
No, he lived two doors away.
The house is up to let now. February,
in a road accident. He was knocked down.'
    So the thick glasses and the fear of blindness
prefigured something else; though it was reading
and pictures that concerned him most. The mind's
less fragile eye conjures the Arcimboldo
over his mantelpiece: face made of flowers,
a fugitive white butterfly capricious
above the head. He said that 'conservation'
had ruined it, but loved it nonetheless.
    Something more should have happened. His one novel -

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