Sunday 26 October 2008

warming her pearls

Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress
bids me wear them, warm them, until evening
when I´ll brush her hair. At six, I place them
round her cool, white throat. All day I think of her,

resting in the Yellow Room, contemplating silk
or taffeta, which gown tonight? She fans herself
whilst I work willingly, my slow heat entering
each pearl. Slack on my neck, her rope.

She´s beautiful. I dream about her
in my attic bed; picture her dancing
with tall men, puzzled by my faint, persistent scent
beneath her French perfume, her milky stones.

I dust her shoulders with a rabbit´s foot,
watch the soft blush seep through her skin
like an indolent sigh. In her looking-glass
my red lips part as though I want to speak.

Full moon. Her carriage brings her home. I see
her every movement in my head.... Undressing,
taking off her jewels, her slim hand reaching
for the case, slipping naked into bed, the way

she always does.... And I lie here awake,
knowing the pearls are cooling even now
in the room where my mistress sleeps. All night
I feel their absence and I burn.

Carol Ann Duffy (Warming Her Pearls)


  1. Un billet délicatement et merveilleusement sensuel. Quelle belle idée de réchauffer les perles dont la froideur saisit toujours le cou et la gorge.

  2. belle source, c'est exactement ce que j'avais pense moi-meme: quelle idee extraordinaire, et si simple en meme temps, pour exprimer toute la devotion et la delicatesse d'un amour...

  3. she has such a great face, that woman on the right

  4. yes, lotus, I think that too - sometimes it seems that everything is expressed in a human face, everything.