THE PRINTER by Jenny Doughty

/ / Issue 1, Poetry

All day he labours, polishing the plate
(small, nondescript, whose eyes illuminate

his workman’s face), picks up the burin, starts
to etch out in reverse all but the heart

of what he sees, carves worlds in words,
carves tigers, devils, chimney-sweeps and birds.

Varnish and ink and acid-bath stand by,
then, day’s work done, he walks in Peckham Rye

and sees the new-leaved trees through tired eyes,
each leaf a green-winged angel on the sky.

William Blake’s print of “The Tyger,” one of the works that inspired Jenny Doughty’s poem. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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