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

Two Poems Sarah White
Tenses of a Simple Heart

I am a French major; she, a housekeeper.
I am eighteen; her age, uncertain.
Flaubert hides her hair

under a muslin bonnet
drawn with a greyish
Norman palette.

In Chapter One she is placed
by the Master in a simple
and imperfect past –

untold years
when she ate her bread alone,
banked the fires

and nodded off
clutching her rosary,
while I assured myself

I could never be
like Felicity
or so I thought

until I started Chapter Two
and the Master threw
me back to what preceded,

something she HAD had.
Elle avait eu, comme une autre,
son histoire d’amour


like ANY other,
any woman, any time
she discovers

bliss and ruin:
hers in the pluperfect;
mine in what was then the future.



Andrei Zhdanov, Director of the Writers’ Union, Reports to Premier Stalin on Anna Akhmatova

She is utterly remote from the People.
She speaks as a unique individual.
Unlike other writers in the capital,
she sings of death, mysticism, doom –

remote from the interests of the People.
Deaf to what is written in her time,
she repeats herself: songs of death,
mysticism, doom

become a blight upon our time
and will corrupt the minds of youth,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image