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 review is taken from PN Review 213, Volume 40 Number 1, September - October 2013.

Hiding in Trees
dennis o'driscoll, Dear Life (Anvil) £9.95
jennie feldman, Swift (Anvil) £8.95
chris andrews, Lime Green Chair (Waywiser) £8.99
helen dunmore, The Malarkey (Bloodaxe) £8.95

Dennis O'Driscoll's final collection is full of longish, narrative poems that resign themselves to a universe of disappointment and disaffection. 'Spare Us', asks every stanza of that poem, 'the lilacs', 'the lambs', 'our jaundiced view / of daffodils':

[…] the spring,
its fake sincerity, its unethical
marketing strategies, its deceptive
pledges, its built-in obsolescence,
its weeds breeding like flies.

'Spare Us', in other words, being hustled into lyrical transcendence. We are sick, reads the poem, of being coerced into optimism. If there's a certain bitterness here, it might be down to the poet's abiding fear of self-obsolescence. 'Still' is a defiant defence of Dad-poetry: 'Our dress code is old hat. / Our interest in networking sites is zilch.' Throughout the collection political concerns are expressed in oblique, outdated ways, while the preoccupation with God is zealously unfashionable. Even the satire seems out of date (as though people might actually physically travel to 'Head Office' nowadays). 'How do they find time to pack…?' our narrator wonders, and 'when do they snatch the chance / to top up that stand-out tan…?' We watch as our man stops to 'fire off / an ass-kicking circular to marketing staff'. In sum, the satirist notes triumphantly, rich ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image