After Woman in a Hat (Olga) 1935: Pablo Picasso.
Woman in a hat, nineteen thirty five,
that’s me, something of a clown off balance
minus the bold red lips, just a squiffy
slit of a mouth set in a crescent moon
of nauseous green and with black egg-yolks
for eyes, pupils staring in startlement.
He has given me a fragile air, topped
with a hat like twinned borlotti beans, purple
on the brown dark of my sculpted hair,
face constrained into angular anguish,
my whole head precarious in sorrow
on a mere point of a neck – yet resting
on pyramidic shoulders rising seamlessly
from the black dress of a queen, no has-been.
Ruth Hanchett uses various poetic forms on a range of subjects. She won the Segora Poetry Competition 2016 and has been published widely as in Artemis and Acumen. Her debut pamphlet Some Effects of Brilliance was published in June 2019.