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
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... 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)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This report is taken from PN Review 154, Volume 30 Number 2, November - December 2003.

A Foggy Day Neil Powell

In an early poem called 'The Poet-Scholar', Donald Davie writes: 'The poet-scholar cannot keep apart / The gift and the investment.' I've been quoting these lines all over the place for years: partly because, until the appearance of Davie's revised Collected Poems in 2002, they had been lurking in a 1955 number of Essays in Criticism for almost half a century; and partly because they are wise, memorable and - at least for a certain kind of poet-scholar - true. Davie, of course, was an outstanding example of the type: teaching in universities paid his salary but for at least three decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s, hardly a week seemed to go by without a poem or a book review (or, failing those, an impassioned letter) from him in the Guardian or the Listener or the TLS. His tone - which, like Leavis's, is often at its most conversational when most fiercely engaged in literary argument - moves easily from lecture to article to poem: reading Davie, you can almost believe that intellectual discourse is our common currency.

Davie retains his vivid, sometimes cantankerous presence in our literary consciousness; much of his work remains in print. By contrast, Graham Hough, another true poet-scholar and a Cambridge colleague of Davie's (though more than a dozen years older), has slipped almost into invisibility. Unlike Davie, Hough stayed in Cambridge to the end of his academic life: a fellow first of Christ's and subsequently of Darwin College, he ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image