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This poem is taken from PN Review 1, Volume 4 Number 1, October - December 1977.

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.

The 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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