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

A Beauty John Ash
It was an intellectual face, -
white, with the mute look of a rose about to be doused
with a powerful insecticide,
and she never understood why, in her presence
perfectly sensible men would lose all control. What
was it she did? It cannot
have been anything she said. . . .

Further incidents: she borrowed the old earl's Rolls
to take her to the station, and stole
his breakfast kipper to eat on the train;
the whole family had a wonderful time that summer
in the Tuscan palace lent by an infatuated count

except that all the floors were so highly polished
that, by the end of their stay, sprained wrists and broken ankles
were scattered through their ranks like floral tributes
at the end of a charity matinée;
...


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