18 AUGUST 1990, Page 28

The Birth of Venus

Perfect paradigm of women On your godly surfboard skimming The wavy sea the fishes swim in, Blown by wind from lovers' faces Whilst the fairest of the graces In pregnant gown of posied linen Stands to greet you at the landing With a gauze to fold your skin in, You hide your pubes with your tresses, A quip of divine nudity That mortal pudor has no hand in Since the immodest one is she, None revealing, all concealing, But hinting at the night's embraces. . . You step down on the human shore Dressless, ocean-eyed and pure, Bare, unsensual as a tree; Nor now nor ever need to be Rescued from pornography.

Hilary Corbe