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 Specialising in large archives and delivering content across platforms, Exact Editions offers the most diverse and broadly accessible content available for libraries and businesses by working with hundreds of publishers to bring valuable historical and current publications to life on web, iOS and Android platforms. read more
Most Read... Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
(PN Review 99)
Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
(PN Review 199)
Dannie Abse'In Highgate Woods' and Other Poems
(PN Review 209)
Sasha DugdaleJoy
(PN Review 227)
Matías Serra Bradfordinterviews Roger Langley The Long Question of Poetry: A Quiz for R.F. Langley
(PN Review 199)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Litro Magazine
The Poetry Society
Next Issue Alex Wylie sponsors the Secular Games Emma Wilson quizzes Carol Mavor Anna Jackson's Dear Reader Freddie Raphael's Dear Lord Byron David Herd on Poetry and Deportation

This poem is taken from PN Review 128, Volume 25 Number 6, July - August 1999.

The Anatolikon John Ash

They said: 'Why do you want to go to that place? There is nothing to see.'
And I said: 'But I like its name. It means "opium" and "fortress".
It has something to do with the colours blue and red...' So,
In a dusty square with a flower garden and a nearly extinct fountain
I took a bus which passed through many bus stations
(In one of which I examined displays of very ugly meershaum pipes)
And Andrew came with me to keep a photographic record
Of everything that was to be seen and not seen along the way.
In Afyon I admired the baroque frames of the restaurant mirrors,
The dazzling aprons of the waiters, and the colours of the houses. A rat
Ran up the steps from the garden, then paused as if uncertain what to do.
We met two young salesmen from Usak who sang for us on the summit
Of the fortress rock, which was black but patterned with brilliant lichens.
We were sad to discover that all the kilims had been stolen from the mosque.
We went south through fields of roses, their perfume smothering the valleys,
Rising up in gusts towards peaks like broken knives. The heat
...
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image