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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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