Winter 1979 • Vol. I No. 1 Poetry |

The Deodand

What are these women up to? They've gone and strung Drapes over the windows, cutting out light And the slightest hope of a breeze here in mid-August. Can this be simply to avoid being seen By some prying femme-de-chambre across the boulevard Who has stepped out on a balcony to disburse Her dustmop gleanings on the summer air? And what of these rugs and pillows, all haphazard, Here in what might be someone's living room In the swank, high-toned sixteenth arrondissement? What would their fathers, husbands, fiancés, Those pillars of the old haute-bourgeoisie, Think of the strange charade now in the making? Swathed in exotic finery, in loose silks, Gauzy organzas with metallic threads, Intricate Arab vests, brass ornaments At wrist and ankle, those small sexual fetters, Tight little silver chains, and bangled gold Suspended like a coarse barbarian treasure From soft earlobes pierced through symbolically, They are preparing some tableau vivant. One girl, consulting the authority Of a pa

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Anthony Hecht (1923- 2004) followed the G.I. bill to study with John Crowe Ransom at Kenyon. He wrote eight books of poetry and two works of nonfiction, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection The Hard Hours in 1967. In his lifetime he also received the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Loines Award, the Librex-Guggenheim Eugenio Montale Award, and the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy in Rome, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and lived in Washington, D.C.

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