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 39, Volume 11 Number 1, July - August 1984.

The Pleasers C.H. Sisson

All that remains to tell is how, later,
I became a top person in my way
But did not reach the top after all,
Because I had not the right sort of mind

Or because, when Fortune's smile was half-formed,
I did not keep a civil tongue for her
As certainly the best people do,
Who otherwise would never be the best.

No matter now. No matter, really, then
Though then it seemed a matter of importance
That scurvy characters should win all
- As so it seemed, and so in part it was,

As was the case no doubt in other courts
In other times, and so it always is.
The most expensive thing is innocence
Which I half-had, yet not more than half;
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image