PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
The PN Review Prize 2017 - Now Open!
ENGLISH PEN: time to join!
English PEN relies on the support of its members and subscribers. read more
Most Read... Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
(PN Review 99)
Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
(PN Review 199)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Meet Michael Edwards at the Brasserie Lipp David Herman reads Milosz's life Sumita Chakraborty's five poems Judith Wilson's encounter with Giovanni Pascoli Simon Armitage revives Branwell Bronte

This poem is taken from PN Review 234, Volume 43 Number 4, March - April 2017.

Three Poems
Translated by Igor Klikovac & John McAuliffe
Igor Klikovac
Nettle-Eaters
(Birth of a Language)

Since I first heard about it, I always wanted to see
people eating pain.

Now, as they sit behind the long table, with hands stretched out
onto the white tablecloth, they look like a fed-up delegation,
or an amateur club waiting for the arrival of a grandmaster.

The daydreamy looks show they are reeling in that concentration,
summoning that peace which champions and mass-murderers
walk upon. Whether they’d want to remember or forget something –
who would know, except themselves

but without that, I realise, the whole business is nothing
but a lesson in punctured expectations: noisy, too fast for the eye,
with no revelations or ontological cookie at the end. Something in fact
that pushes itself right out of one’s mind

as soon as the waiters start to lift the plastic basins
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image