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 19, Volume 7 Number 5, May - June 1981.

Three Poems Jean Earle

From the great compost heap glide four snakes
Out of hibernation-linked like the arms of girls,
Lengthy, alerted amazons,
Girls of rough silk.

The heap was their winter garment-journeying stars
Striking another, crowning star off the fork's tines
Forever stuck, angled to wet or frost.
In steamy lining of decay, the snakes drowsed
Knotted,
Mystic as Ogham
Over the wall, in the round churchyard.

Their gold-ringed eyes prick into spring,
Familiars and residents. This is their home.
But at their hour of emergence, the gardener naps.
About him, an ancient greenhouse falls,
Tinkle by tinkle: the ruined vine sinks lower.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image