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
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)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This poem is taken from PN Review 228, Volume 42 Number 4, March - April 2016.

Blind Dates Siriol Troup
i | The only things we believe in are the sheep and the dogs (Henry James)

     Sergeant Troy, Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

He flourished his sword by way of introduction, rustling towards the hollow among the ferns.
Brass and scarlet shone, the ring of sheep-bells followed. Young and trim, by turns
serious and twinkling, he spoke of love but thought of dinner, and though I took him
for a wild scamp and a sinner, his well-shaped moustache agitated me strangely
until I grew feverish under the evolutions of his blade. He hinted - I forbade. Finally
all was over: quick as electricity, he made a hole in my heart that his tongue
could not mend. I did not flinch at his loose play or soldierly démarche. Ah, Beauty,
bravely borne!
said he, pretending to pay though always intending to owe. Yet truth
is truth at any hour of day. The ground was harsh, the haggard night dim and starless.
Dogs barked, meek lambs bleated and panted as he fled, but still his sword strung
lanterns in the air and left me shuddering in the streams of his aurora militaris.


ii | Eek, ik, eeik, ik, eek

      Piet Hanema, Couples by John Updike

High sun over the treacherous game, pink lemonade beside his chair, with strawberries, like his mother used to make.

I serve. He crouches at the net, feeling the land around him, sniffing for lust and floods, the racket sweating like a hammer in his fist.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image