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)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
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 PN Review 184, Volume 35 Number 2, November - December 2008.

from Hesiod's Calendar Robert Saxton

This extract renders lines 383-617 of the Works and Days


The farmer's life will make your fortune grow.
Start the harvest when the Pleiades start to rise.
Plough when the Sisters sink from autumn skies.
For forty nights these high-born girls lie low;

when the year rolls round, they swing into view again
as you work to sharpen your sickle-blade.
Wherever there's fertile land this law's obeyed -
in valley, on coastal strip, on inland plain.

To sow your seed, go naked - I'm serious.
Strip to your skin to plough, and strip to reap -
no better way to harvest Demeter's yield.

Strange though it sounds, this is no delirious
rite - it's expert practice. If you herd sheep,
be clothed; but not if your wealth's a golden field.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image