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4 August 2013

“The Best Art Nouveau Restaurant in Europe”: a poem by Tim Liardet

By Tim Liardet

After Klimt

In it, we’re blinded by gold, the hanging fastness of gold,
and feel a sense of vanishing into the pattern
of the whole, or perhaps willingly becoming part of it,
comprised as it is of thread and weft, gold upon gold –
Or else perhaps this place of ornament and gold
is the Art Nouveau robe in which the two of us are wrapped
and is bright as Renaissance haloes and Byzantine gold-leaf
slashed in purple, jonquil and Florentine green
and shawled by these chandeliers, hemmed in glittery crystal;
and even though we sit the width of a cloth apart
and are attended by waiters who are kindly but cool
we like to be so wrapped, wrapped together until
mere shape in a field of sensation, and turned fold by fold –
impulse by impulse – into fabulous, old scrolled gold.

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