Francesca Woodman


At the heart there is a hollow sun

by which we are constructed and undone



Behind the mirror. Favourite place to hide.

I didn't breathe. They looked so long I died.



What's shown when we unveil, disclose, undress,

is first the promise, then its emptiness



Ghost-face. Not because I turned my head,

but because what looked at me was dead.



— We don't exist — We only dream we’re here —

This means we never die — We disappear —



We’d met ‘in previous lives’, he was convinced.

Yeah, I thought. And haven’t spoken since.



All rooms will hide you, if you stand just so.

All ghosts know this. That's really all they know.


Bibliographical info

Don Paterson, “Francesca Woodman”, from 40 Sonnets, Copyright © 2015 by Don Paterson. Reprinted by permission of publisher.

Source: 40 Sonnets (Faber and Faber Ltd., 2015)

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