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
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
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This poem is taken from PN Review 74, Volume 16 Number 6, July - August 1990.

Some say C.B. McCully

I wish I were the river. Its power now
in flood obliterates
everything it once thought about itself:
on the valley stones, on this winter floor among the rocks
it slides through its own skin like a big brown snake.

Elsewhere, perhaps, it's become a lake
for migrating birds, snowflakes or reflections of low
clouds;
elsewhere, almost unimaginably, past pipes and drums,
the luxury of knotted towns and confluence, oil in the
estuary
and wharves where ships no longer build,
it's become the sea

turns blue in August, is mackerel-tide,
or salt-secreting cell in the anemone's claw,
disperses until the salmon smell it out,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image