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This poem is taken from PN Review 36, Volume 10 Number 4, March - April 1984.

Marginalia Peter Scupham
1

Leaf from a French Bible Circa 1270
Villeneuve-les-Avignons


A single leaf. Deuteronomy.
The untrimmed vellum keeps its pinholes;
Guide-lines rest uncancelled.

Under the Uncials' lantern capitals,
Whose gentler reds and blues are hung
On vines of gossamer,

The blocked ink scorches on the page.
Textus quadratus: bent feet hook
The linked chains of the Word.

A slant-cut nib works on; the skin
Takes texture. God is woven close -
The figure in the carpet.

And at the margin, crabbed, contracted,
Lies evidence the page was read. No more.
...


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