PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail
Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This poem is taken from PN Review 150, Volume 29 Number 4, March - April 2003.

On Omitting the Word 'Just' from my Vocabulary Sinéad Morrisey

And here I am in a room I don't recognise, being
angular and contemporary, with its own
unabashed light source and the table clear.

I must be somewhere Scandinavian.
Where weather is decisively one way
or the other, and summer,

or winter, will not brook contradiction.
Even the ornaments (such as they are)
are purposeful: a stone dog stares into the fireplace

as though pitting itself against fire
for the next quarter-century.
(How you cannot say `just' and `pregnancy'.)

There is a fissure in store for me here.
There are no wall hangings. Or rugs.
The door is locked against me.

My own audacity in coming here
astounds me. Yet I step purposefully.
I swell uncontrollably.

Beyond in the hallway
the tongue of a bell is banging against its shell.
It sounds like a coffin lid,

or as definitive.
It is marking the hours until I break into two
and loose/gain everything.

This poem is taken from PN Review 150, Volume 29 Number 4, March - April 2003.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk
Further Reading: - Sinéad Morrisey More Poems by... (20) Article by... (1) Reviews by... (2) Review of... (1)
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image