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 53, Volume 13 Number 3, January - February 1987.

Two Poems Cliff Ashby


They blamed her dad for giving her ideas.
Not, God forbid, they found ambition wrong!
But for young girls it seemed unnatural.
To be a lady's-maid or needlewoman was admirable -
Next best to being a wife -
But to speak with equal grammar and more thought
Than one's employer; there danger lay.
Better a mindless wretch scrubbing floors
Than being cause for embarrassing one's betters.
Hide your wonder in the drab of service,
Who knows, you might get pregnant by the master -
Or sacked for not.
But she, poor girl, was damaged by the spring.
Blood and body burgeoning into floods of flowers
Beauty bludgeoned her.
Overlooking Boxhill, late light casting shadow

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image