Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
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Commentary: Typhoid

As described in the Notes on page 44, this poem was inspired by a BBC news story about women who were locked up until they died in a mental institution, not because they were disturbed, but because they were asymptomatic carriers of Typhoid (like the infamous Typhoid Mary).

Removed from their families, and locked up for so long in challenging surroundings, many of the women did eventually experience mental disturbance and decline. The voice of this poem is one of these incarcerated women in old age.

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