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
1930–2017

(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 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


XXVII

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