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: 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)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Oxford University Press
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Kei Miller on poetry and volume control Parwana Fayyaz's Afghan poems Gabriel Josipovici bids farewell to Aharon Appelfeld Craig Raine plants a flag A.R. Ammons from two angles

This poem is taken from PN Review 204, Volume 38 Number 4, March - April 2012.

Three Sonnets on the Coup de Grâce Dan Burt

She stands by the bed, breath caught, murderess
To be, no Borgia, but a shire belle
Gone fifty, wearing a rumpled dress
Witness to her night watch for a senile
Man who reeks of spearmint from liniment
For bed sores, (Is this still my father?),
Moaning, insensible, incontinent
(Is this wreck him?). 
                                Her hands spasm, hover
Near drip and catheter doctors won't forego,
Grab, then tape a pillow to white stubble;
The body writhes below, life won't let go.
The saviour drops her weapon and scuttles
Off in tears.
                  Drunk, at times she'll corner
A stranger and confess filial failure.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image