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 188, Volume 35 Number 6, July - August 2009.

The Voyage (after Baudelaire) Michael O'Neill
after Baudelaire


It begins with a child, engrossed by maps,
the globe answering his wish for adventure.
How huge the world seems under the lamp’s clear light.
How small a thing memory makes of it.

One morning we set out, our brains on fire,
hearts a blur of hurt and desire,
and off we go, borne by the waves,
infinite questers stuck on finite seas:

some glad to escape a disgraced nation,
others a dire upbringing, and a few,
star-gazers drowned in the eyes of a woman,
despotic Circe with her lustful scents.

Not to be changed into brutes, they get drunk
on space and light, and blood-red skies;
suns that burn and ice that bites

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image