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Angelica the Doorkeeper -- Anonymous

(Poem #156) Angelica the Doorkeeper
The falcon soars
The town's gates are even higher

Angelica's their doorkeeper
She's wound the sun round her head
She's tied the moon round her waist

She's hung herself with stars.
-- Anonymous
Translated by Anne Pennington.

For some reason, these six lines seem to have stuck permanently in my
memory. Again, I'm not quite sure just why this should be so... perhaps
it has something to do with the way the individual images, though fairly
ordinary (albeit nice) in themselves, seem disconnected, even, at times,
hallucinatory, in combination. The overall effect is mysteriously
beautiful (or do I mean beautifully mysterious?)


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The writing is wonderful and the descriptive passages are stuff of creative writing classes. The plot - such as it is - plods and plods. Suddenly in the last 60 pages or so the story picks up and (with a few dull overly descriptive interludes) becomes a page-turner. If only the entire book was like this it would be a classic on the order of say, COLD MOUNTAIN.

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