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 20, Volume 7 Number 6, July - August 1981.

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, 1972 Francis Boylan

   I.
Hand in hand they came, hand in hand
An old couple hobbling towards a seat
Among the pillars of a square
Built by men who understood the heat.

Hand in hand they came, hand in hand
My hand turns verses on a table
While I tune to the inner voice of the square-
Thunder in the dust makes our dust ineffable.

   II.
Death without a death it was, not death the stranger.
Lord of the living and lord of the earth
Dear death, if we had their eyes to say!
Why then the smallest human action, a breath

Or a blink, the soul that lights a look or gesture,
The conversation of women on a bus,
Such breath would take our deaths away
If we could see and say what they saw in dust.

Death became destruction. The devil in Eve was Easter
Inverted, the liar whose liars pray
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image