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  Michael Estabrook
   
     


John Constableís Sketch Pad
 
John Constableís sketch pad really was
a pad, a small worn brown thing
that he fit into his hip pocket. Saw a replica
of this pad in the National Portrait Gallery
in London. As I leafed through the pages I
was amazed at all the landscapes
in miniature: trees, hedgerows, rivers, lakes,
cottages, carts, and cows crowded in
with details in faint hair-fine lines and no color.
And I think of the tiny notepad
I carry around in my pocket so I can jot down
(so I wonít forget them) ideas, phrases
and fine lines for poems that I might have
as Iím walking along or standing staring
at a river, an old lady or a bird in a tree.
And I think how now I wonít feel
so silly carrying around my little
pad because Iím not in such
bad company after all.
 

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