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)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
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 29, Volume 9 Number 3, January - February 1983.

Nixon, the Cheshire Prophet John Heath-Stubbs

for Bernard Saint

Black hair, a low forehead,
Sallow skin, jutting teeth,
Broad shoulders, big hands-he did his work,
Enough of it, in the fields,
But had to be beaten often.
Generally silent, but when the boys
Tormented him, he would run after them,
Making loud noises, grab them by the throat,
Kick them and thump them, till he was called off.

But sometimes something would fall on him-whether the
  moon's phase,
Or the wind in the right quarter caused it, nobody knew.
But he'd begin his prophecies, in a strange voice,
Chanting them, in rhymed verses.
Foreseeing the future-but in a jumble
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image