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
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... 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)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
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 3, Volume 4 Number 3, April - June 1978.

Two Poems Fleur Adcock
Variations on a Theme of Horace

Clear is the man and of a cold life
who needn't fear the slings and arrows;
cold is the man, and perhaps the moorish bows
will avoid him and the wolf turn tail.

                            *

Sitting in the crypt under bare arches
at a quite ordinary table with a neat cloth,
a glass of wine before him, 'I'm never sure'
he said 'that I'll wake up tomorrow morning.'

Upstairs musicians were stretching their bows
for a late quartet which would also save us from nothing.
This ex-church was bombed to rubble,
rebuilt. It is not of that he was thinking.

And policemen decorate the underground stations
to protect us from the impure of heart:
the traveller must learn to suspect his neighbour,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image