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Ten Poems About Hats

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Coco Chanel declared a hat to be essential when lunching with people one didn’t know very well. These days such pretensions may seem old hat but we still set store by this quintessentially personal item of clothing.

In these pages we encounter hats of all shapes and sizes. There’s a grandfather’s beloved trilby and an imagined bathing cap belonging to Napoleon. There’s also a “hopeful hat” waiting for coins on a city pavement.

Best of all, perhaps, we experience the old-fashioned glamour of a milliner’s shop:

“There are multi-coloured reels, ends of rickrack, bias bindings,
tiny satin flowers, and hats with floppy brims
on blank-faced, long-necked Nefertiti heads,”

from ‘Cloche’ by John Foggin

These varied poems will delight and entertain in equal measure.

Poems by Rita Dove, John Foggin, John Freeman, Clarinda Harriss, Robert Hedin, Linda Pastan, Carole Satyamurti, James Tate, Andrew Taylor and ASJ Tessimond.

Cover illustration by Jane Burn.

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