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 poem is taken from PN Review 236, Volume 43 Number 6, July - August 2017.

Four Poems Thomas McCarthy
Field Hospital, 1917

Love, though I am trying to dump when my bowels won’t move
I’m still proud to have lost a limb for Ireland. It is not too bad

To lose just an arm. There were never any guarantees, as Mr
Redmond said that night in Waterford. No point being sad

When your number’s up. Shrapnel burst low over the fire-bay,
My flesh became clay. I was wearing a woman’s white undergarment

As camouflage in snow. Frost and minenwerfers, the grand scream
Of shells in a blizzard: Tommy Mason, Walter Barron, Cappoquin men

All gone down. Are we paying too high a price for this parliament
Of our own? Home is so personal when you’re in pain,

It seems ghoulish to want a nation. I moan and think how you
Looked in your Jubilee Nurse uniform. I may have lost an arm,

Waterford woman, but I still want an armful of you. Now this
Auxiliary nurse from Carlyle checks my pulse and says ‘Well

Done, well done.’ With chloroform I can’t do a thing. I can only
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image