PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Anna JacksonDear Epistle
(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Michelle Holmes on ‘Whitman, Alabama’ Les Murray Eight Poems Gabriel Josipovici Who Dares Wins: Reflections on Translation Maureen N. McLane Four Poems James Womack Europe (after the German of Marie Luise Kaschnitz)

This article is taken from PN Review 233, Volume 43 Number 3, January - February 2017.

An Encomium Andrew Wynn Owen
In years to come, when styles and times have altered,
He’ll stand to symbolise so many things.
He’ll represent the warmth of Magdalen College,
Oxford’s most tranquil, leafy, unobtrusive,
And friendly undergraduate abode;
He’ll represent the long-awaited lifeboat
Of regulated wit and sparkling judgement,
The spirit of the eighteenth century;
He’ll stand fast as the thoughtful face of England,
Holding the olive branch of contemplation
Above the fray of mercenary distraction.
In years to come, his work will be a beacon,
Uniting all who care for lucid sense,
And, when he’s gone, we’ll miss him and we’ll wonder,
As we now say of Auden, ‘How precisely
Did he achieve such playfulness and poise?’
For years to come, I pray he will continue
To flourish. He is sheerest ‘floreat’.

At Florio, the Magdalen society
For luring poems out of people’s lips,
He sits inscrutably and watches all.
Occasionally, a crease will cross his brow;
Occasionally, an animating smile;
Occasionally, a quizzical expression
That signifies the imminent deployment
Of kind but devastating counter-thought.
Ringmaster, sleuth, intelligencer, he
Co-ordinates the whole shebang with such
Good sense that even supersonic comets
Change course according to his gravity.
His way is difficult and few can follow,
But those who do discover a strange freedom,
The freedom to control the heart and lungs
With words, protean instruments of ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image