PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Michelle Holmes on ‘Whitman, Alabama’ Les Murray Eight Poems Gabriel Josipovici Who Dares Wins: Reflections on Translation Maureen N. McLane Four Poems James Womack Europe (after the German of Marie Luise Kaschnitz)

This poem is taken from PN Review 186, Volume 35 Number 4, March - April 2009.

Four Poems Omar Sabbagh

Nymph and I

What provokes anxiety? Contrary to what people say, it is neither
the rhythm nor the alternation of the mother’s presence-absence…
What is most anxiety-producing for the child is when the relationship
through which he comes to be - on the basis of lack which makes
him desire - is most perturbed: when there is no possibility of lack,
when his mother is constantly on his back.


                                                                         Jacques Lacan, Seminar X

Talk to me nymph. Tell me your white-water secrets.
Tell me how all men vanish in you,
The tall ones and the short ones, the brown
And the white, the lacklustre bony
And the fat treasured ones.
Tell me your story: we are at sea together
You and I, unravelled by landfall as yet.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image