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

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

SYMPTOMS OF LOSS MARTHA KAPOS, My Nights in Cupid's Palace (Enitharmon) £7.95
JUDY GAHAGAN, Night Calling Enitharmon) £7.95
GREGORY WARREN WILSON, Jeopardy (Enitharmon) £7.95
RHIAN GALLAGHER, Salt Water Creek (Enitharmon) £7.95

My Nights in Cupid's Palace by Martha Kapos highlights the effects love has on life, balancing words and emotions with great delicacy. Freedom beckons in everything, and the extraordinary is seen in the everyday:

... I'm floating
inches above the ground, the pocket in my apron
growing into a pouch so large that it could hold
Medusa's head, J-cloths flapping
from my heels like the wings of Mercury

This world is a recognisable and familiar one, and yet Kapos's insights into it are often startling, revealing the wildness under the surface. In 'Wolf in the Kitchen' her partner is compared to a wild animal at bay: "You wait crouched down behind / your eyes, so deeply out of reach". The lover is also represented as the sun:

Shining like a lunatic
your smile plays hell
with all astronomy

Some characters in the poems live in dreams, waiting for something that will never come, revealing the disillusionment of fairy tales. There is a maturity about these poems - a sense of having been burned before alongside the trepidation of laying one's feelings before someone else.

Opposites, doubles, paradoxes are paramount. Kapos suggests that trying to understand relationships is feeling like a child listening to 'untranslated language'. The sea in turmoil represents feelings; the tide goes in and out like a pulse. Opposites are seen in the highs and lows of love and life, ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image