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 report is taken from PN Review 217, Volume 40 Number 5, May - June 2014.

Meeting Iago on the Ground Vahni Capildeo
Small pieces of tarmac kept emerging or being surgically extracted from my head, two years after a speeding police car – blue light on, siren off – struck my twenty-­year-old self as she crossed the road to deliver an essay on The Taming of the Shrew (it was blood-stained when someone handed it in to my tutor for marking; he was a man with an uneasy relationship to bodily fluids). For once the use of the words ‘fragments’ or ‘shards’ might be justified. Yet though the police car incident put me back a year, it did not enter my personal mythology; only obliquely, my poetry. The witness statement ‘I saw a girl flying through the air’ became a bad family joke. What mattered was Shakespeare.

Shakespeare gave me reassurance in a moment of distress, in an unexpected fashion; sadly, nothing that could motivate the production of another feelgood anthology: Shakespeare Can Save Your Life. There may have been days when you were younger and you felt that you needed Hamlet like you needed a hole in your head. The paramedic chatting to me in a tone somehow both relaxed and urgent (will she wake up all the way?) looked just like Ian McKellen’s Iago. Lying on the road, I enjoyed engaging with Iago, my convent-school-acquired chattiness almost as strong as survival instinct; and both helped in my climb back into the body within the chalk outline, breathing spring air and seeing darkness. The paramedic had been in the military. He was a confirmed bachelor. He is Iago, I thought, suddenly at ease. We smiled ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image