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

(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 229, Volume 42 Number 5, May - June 2016.

Four Poems Rowland Bagnall

I felt lonely, like I’d missed the boat,
or I’d found the boat and it was deserted

Like the moment between knowing you might nearly jump
and actually nearly jumping, I considered half-undressing
an imagined Joan of Arc, approaching to the stake with unfaced
soldiers and a crowd of muted children like the children in the foreground
of a Lowry painting. The only thing she could get through to me was,
It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens,
which, given the circumstances, we all agreed was pretty funny.

It was one of those rare experiences where you move into rain that’s already
falling somewhere else. In another place, but a place exactly the same
as this, I thought about the bit in Fargo (1996) where Steve Buscemi gets
stuffed into the wood-chipper until only his feet are left, imagining what that
must be like those first few seconds you’re alive, and whether you’d bleed out
on the snow or just lose consciousness immediately, the way some people

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image