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: 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
Oxford University Press
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Kei Miller on poetry and volume control Parwana Fayyaz's Afghan poems Gabriel Josipovici bids farewell to Aharon Appelfeld Craig Raine plants a flag A.R. Ammons from two angles

This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 6 Number 6, 1976.

Conjurors Julian Orde Abercrombie

This crusty July, blackfly
        And other small, moist flies -
               Whiskers so thin
               They are not felt on skin -
Liking a dry July
        Interrupted the performance
        Of the opening of some flowers.

Nasturtiums' circus balance
        Of little heads and great wheels
               Went heeling sideways
               Under the puny flies'
Procession of slow advance -
        Who could be changed to grease
        By a thumb flicked over a leaf.
And as a leaf I picked
        I saw my fingers smeared with the dead
               And I hated this meek

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image