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 232, Volume 43 Number 2, November - December 2016.

Sir Geoffrey Hill Rowan Williams
The following sermon was delivered at the funeral of Sir Geoffrey Hill at the Chapel of Emmanuel College, Cambridge on 25 July 2016.

                                         *

VERY WELL, you shall redirect the pain –
May already have worked this – towards paean.
      Nothing bereaves
      Precisely; yet
      Lost springs of loves
      Turn things about
      Upon the stiff axis
      Geared by bow staves      [Clavics 25, p.    35]


‘A trimmed rod of wood’, says the definition, ‘to be made into a bow.’ Loss is ‘imprecise’, nothing serious, grievous, in our humanity allows us the satisfaction of being exact, wrapping it all up. What we do with bereavement is to find words that ‘turn things about’, labouring at a vehicle where the tension and slowness are in fact building towards an arrow flight.

So today, sitting with our ‘imprecise’ grief, the loss we can’t turn into anything finished and impressive, we listen to Geoffrey’s words, in one context after another, burrowing, shouldering, worrying their way towards some redirection of pain. He had characteristically austere things to say about the self-delusions of poets. In a notable essay on ‘Language, Suffering, Silence’ (Collected Critical Writings, pp. 394–406) he conducts several swordfights simultaneously (it is one of the exhausting and exhilarating features of his best critical writing that you have to remember in pretty well every sentence just how many people he is arguing with) – with Arnold, Auden, Milosz, Yeats, all to do with what poetry is meant to ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image