The Birth of Venus
So she stepped naked on to the shore and broke
Into a thousand pieces as she awoke
To life in sunlight, and forgot the sea.
The spray blinded all to her symmetry.
Imagination saw a pearly flesh;
The hand that touched it found it cool and fresh,
And moulded it, complete from top to toe.
A liar then asserted that it was so.
C. H. Sisson, Antidotes (Manchester: Carcanet, 1991), 28.