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)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
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)
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

This poem is taken from PN Review 170, Volume 32 Number 6, July - August 2006.

Four Poems Eric Ormsby

American Requiem (3)

To protect my head I bought a beaded cap,
The kind Muslims wear. It hugged my skull
Like the hand of Fatima, and buoyed me up

Against the sudden crumble of a pedestal,
A toppled plinth or capsized weather-vane,
It amuleted me against the spill

Of cinders from Con Edison, against the rain
Ripe with seething acids, it was a talisman
Against stray bullets or a plunging plane.

Thou art a worm , said Virgil, and no man.
I was surprised to hear him citing Scripture.
The Psalms had colonised my own brain-pan

Eons before. I recognised the stricture
But couldn't help myself: my cowardice
had long been my profoundest fixture.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image