PN Review Online Poetry Literary Magazine
Most Read... Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
(PN Review 99)
Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
(PN Review 199)
Dannie Abse'In Highgate Woods' and Other Poems
(PN Review 209)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Next Issue Andrew Wynn Owen, Four Poems Emily Grosholz, Encounters with Basho Sinead Morrissey, Three Poems Patrick Worsnip, Sleeping with Gozzano Peter McDonald, PN Review Lecture ‘The Quarrel with Ourselves’
Welcome to PN Review, one of the outstanding literary magazines of our time.
Keep up with the many worlds of poetry in this independent and always stimulating journal. For four decades PN Review has been a place to discover new poems in English and in translation as well as interviews, news, essays, reviews and reports from around the world. Subscribers can explore the complete, uniquely rich digital archive.

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Featured Article
The-ology: On the Definite Article in English Verse Graham Pechey

Many of my titles in this book have the definite article [...] The reader must not think I am offering him a set of Theophrastean characters. I am not generalizing; ‘The Conscript’ does not stand for all conscripts but for an imagined individual; any such individual seems to have an absolute quality which the definite article recognizes.

This ‘absolute quality’ Louis MacNeice claims for the English definite article in his volume Springboard (1945) wasn’t won early or easily. It is not to be found in all literary contexts; and when modernist poetry gave it its head, it was neither welcomed by all critics nor provided with a basis for understanding by linguists. Linguists tell us that the definite article sprang from a mutation in the paradigm of demonstrative pronouns some eight hundred years ago: a form that had developed in late Anglo-Saxon lost its inflection ... read more
Blind Dates
Siriol Troup i | The only things we believe in are the sheep and the dogs (Henry James)

     Sergeant Troy, Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

He flourished his sword by way of introduction, rustling towards the hollow among the ferns.
Brass and scarlet shone, the ring of sheep-bells followed. Young and trim, by turns
serious and twinkling, he spoke of love but thought of dinner, and though I took him
for a wild scamp and a sinner, his well-shaped moustache agitated me strangely
until I grew feverish under the evolutions of his blade. He hinted - I forbade. Finally
all was over: quick as electricity, he made a hole in my heart that his tongue
could not mend. I did not flinch at his loose play or soldierly démarche. Ah, Beauty,
bravely borne!
said he, pretending to pay though always intending to owe. Yet truth
... read more
Celebrating Christopher Middleton Milne, Clegg, Moss, Hersch, Lowenstein, & Kociejowski
CELEBRATING
Christopher Middleton
1926–2015


On the Gift of a Sea-Shell
Chrisopher Middleton

1.

They seldom say that God
Inclined his ear
To the cries of old men
From shaky patio chairs
When the Syrian military began
To shell their Aleppo souk.

And God’s ear, they do say, could discern
Helen’s footstep when
Sad at heart she came into sight
And on their bench of stone
As if copying spiny grasshoppers,
Sensing the heat again
The old men stopped their chirping.

2.

                          weil
Ohne Halt verstandlos Gott ist.

                                       – Hölderlin

That in his young mouth he could taste
Barefoot among the ferns on his patrol
Blackberries picked from the clusters
... read more
Selected from the Archive...
In Conversation with Steven Matthews Les Murray
This conversation took place in Oxford on 1 July 1998, the day of the publication in book form of Les Murray's verse novel Fredy Neptune.

STEVEN MATTHEWS: The novel is very much a parable of the first half of this century, following Fredy's life from his experiences in the First World War through the Second World War and beyond. How much do you feel that those events early in the century overshadow the latter part of it?

LES MURRAY: It's very much on our conscience that such tremendous slaughter should have been carried out. There are two major slaughters of the twentieth century which we admit and two which we still deny. The First World War is a slaughter which we admit and so is he Second World War including the holocaust. We ... read more
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