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F E B R U A R Y   1 9 9 4

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by Irving Feldman

Not themselves, but like photographs of themselves;
and their faces, whether puffy, sleek, or wrinkled,
are faces we cannot imagine anyone
gazed at with love ever--because they are angels
burned to fierce neutrality by the billion stares
that make them immortal: great, impoverished beings
sprung whole from the eyes of strangers.

Irving Feldman teaches English literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His latest collection of poems, The Life and Letters, will be published this fall.

Copyright © 1994 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; February 1994; The Celebrities; Volume 273, No. 2; page 100.

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