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

(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 32, Volume 9 Number 6, July - August 1983.

Poems P.J. Kavanagh


When the Philistine host, besieging the muse-men, attacks,
It will find it had no need to bother:
Beleagured poets had long ago slaughtered each other:

Are dead for the good perhaps, because bored bullies surely
Will now conceive songs of self-praise and ennui
And some of the beefs, now muse-struck, become so refined
They in turn will turn and rend their kind.


Surprised at a dawning white-white with dews
On webs, in sheets on everything everywhere,
A work of darkness whiter than white air-
It comes again, the thought he cannot lose
(Though he'd like to) that the world is continuous speech,
Spoken once, always different, always out of reach.
Best, for sanity's sake, ignored: a noise

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image