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Phyllis Gotlieb (1926-)

A Double Vision


              1Goggling with weak-muscled and diplopic eyes
              2at the round oracle of my spectacular world
              3I note that my right eye has a tendency to emphasize
              4the dominant colours and my
              5left the recessives
              6(so that what's plain to one eye
              7the other may see purled)

              8for instance: what's blood to my good right eye
              9is tomato juice to my left
            10and where my left eye
            11sees the hard blue sky
            12it's summer haze to the sight
            13of my right.

            14One eye assures me my child is pyretic
            15and the other guarantees he's
            16anaemic;
            17the left eye declares:
            18silver threads, my dear, you are growing old;
            19and the right eye swears
            20sweetheart, there's nothing but gold.

            21I only praise God for the light
            22and I take my sight
            23as I see it;
            24                  but there
            25may be a moral in this somewhere.

Notes

1] diplopic: a condition in which the eyes see two images of one thing.

7] purled: embroidered with gold or silver thread.

14] febrile, feverish.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Copyright The Works: Collected Poems of Phyllis Gotlieb Calliope Press, 1978
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Phyllis Gotlieb, The Works: Collected Poems (Toronto: Calliope Press, 1978): 17.
First publication date: 1964
Publication date note: Within the Zodiac. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/11/3

Rhyme: irregular rhyming


Other poems by Phyllis Gotlieb