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... 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)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
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 Poetry Nation 1 Number 1, 1973.

Two Poems Molly Holden
Two Poems

THE DOUBLE NATURE OF WHITE

White orchards are the earliest, stunning
the spirit resigned to winter's black; white thorn
sprays first the bare wet branches of the hedge.
We should purely delight. Yet, when one
who gazes on this brilliance turns to look
into a companion's eyes, who gazes on the same,
he sees an evil look, as if of cataract.
This is but reflection of the whitely-gorgeous blossom,
but is uncomfortable, seems a malignity.

What's in white that's so ambiguous? for
the symbol of virginity is, too, unnatural
- like the albino animal, the parasitic plant,
the ghost. And bridal finery is gladly cast aside
for the colours of consummation.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image