PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
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 CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This poem is taken from PN Review 41, Volume 11 Number 3, January - February 1985.

Poems Elizabeth Smither

DARWIN'S GREEN BILE

After meals for years he vomited
The bile of his discovery
Diagnosis: the wrong temperament.

Square peg in a round hole we call it
This gigantic discovery sitting on
The forehead of a happy temperament.

Wisdom in it? Nature's
Way of getting the message across
A man so mild, such a happy disposition

That the discovery would not go away
But leap over decade after decade
Being worn down by Darwin's reasonableness.

A small price for a kind of pregnancy
And the bile was clear, if you can call
Green clear, of impediment.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image