The Wrong Nudes

by Jim Murdoch

My daughter bought me a book, an album,
with pictures of naked women in it.
Of course the wrong women were naked but
how was she to know that that might matter?

That said, realisation is one thing,
acceptance another and approval,
first tacit, then open, quite something else.

Nudity is such a disappointment.
I have never really understood when
nakedness becomes art or if indeed
openness is always a good idea.

She said the book had a dented spine which
is how she could afford it and then we
moved seamlessly onto other matters.

Jim Murdoch is a Scottish poet whose work has regularly appeared in magazine since the 1970s. He has also published three novels and blogs regularly at The Truth About Lies.

  1. #1 by Joy Manne on September 23, 2012 - 7:17 am

    Oh, this is good. You had me here. I thought it was a woman’s voice and then when I saw your name I thought it could be a man’s voice. How skillful to leave it open whether it is a woman or a man writing. It works both ways. In the after-nude of Kate, this is wise and sensitive. Thank you

  2. #2 by Jim Murdoch on September 23, 2012 - 11:27 am

    @Joy – I’m glad the poem touched you. It was written long before all this fuss about Kate; it dates back to March 2009. The book in the poem is Women before 10 A.M by Veronique Vial and my daughter did indeed buy it for me as a pressie.

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