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 review is taken from PN Review 221, Volume 41 Number 3, January - February 2015.

Draw More Ships peter bland, Remembering England (Shoestring Press) £9
dai george, The Claims Office (Seren Books) £8.99
christine mcneill, First and Last Music (Shoestring Press) £9

The poems in Peter Bland’s Remembering England have a gentle but powerful assurance. They do what the book’s title suggests, focusing on the England the poet knew, or rather, the two Englands: that of his childhood and youth in wartime, and that of his middle age in the 1970s, after his return from sixteen years in New Zealand. There is a sense of ease in the diction and each piece flows, as if in writing Bland returns to long-gone scenes and faces now worn by memory into comfortable havens. He runs down the streets of his hometown (‘1941… Mrs Scafe’s baking scones / in her new council house’), pores over his collection of Victor books (‘Our favourites in grey post-war years / were Roy of the Rovers and The Tough of the Track’) and roams boyishly ‘hunting dangerous crocs / in the countryside between Stoke / and Crewe’. The earlier poems dealing with childhood during the war express the viewpoint of a person too young to know how things should be, and who rather engages with the world as it is. We see the boy in the bomb shelter: ‘“Draw more ships,” Grandma ordered, / keeping us busy between exploding bombs. / So we did, on wood-flecked wartime paper… The best were hung in old photo frames’. The violent backdrop is almost (but not wholly) inconsequential before the affectionate memory of children competing to see who could draw the best and win Grandma’s favour. Not that the collection is without gloom; the image of Death, who ‘made himself known ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image