The following is excerpted from a Huffington Post guest post by Sandra Djwa.
I was struck by the predicament of P.K. Page, a diplomat's wife in Australia, circa 1953. She's then a fine poet in her mid-thirties, new to the country and without a poetic community. She's given up the man she loves and feels isolated, notwithstanding a sustaining marriage to Arthur Irwin, Canada's High Commissioner to Australia. Although she's brought a manuscript of poems from Canada, she's too scared to publish, despite high praise from American poet critic Cid Corman. He wants to publish her work in Origin, his avant garde little mag: "10 pages, 20 pages, 40 pages," however many pages she can give him. I was touched and amazed to discover that while sitting in the lush embassy garden in Australia, where peaches "hang like lanterns," Page wrote a poem called Arras where she expresses her feeling, reflects on poetic process and resolves some of her problems while discovering -- through the writing of the poem -- that art remedies grief and isolation. Arras is a story told by a first person narrator, apparently a young woman, about a tapestry. Like Alice in Wonderland she steps into the world of art (the arras or wall hanging) and is conscious of a splitting of identity (between her creating self and her creation). Panicked, longing for "a hand to clutch, a heart to break," she tries to bolt but is held by an immense and threatening stillness. It is at this climactic point that she has an epiphany: " I confess, it was my eye." That is she acknowledges the role of the artist's imagination (and creative eye) in developing the raucous peacock now projected upon the screen of the arras.