PN Review 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 Les Murray takes seven memorable steps Fleur Adcock's 'You, Ellen' John Greening revisits D.J. Enright Virginia Jealous on Rapture’s Roadway Tara Bergin reads Alice Oswald
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
Eliot’s Scientific ‘Tendencies’
in 1919
Duncan MacKay AN INTERESTING ARTICLE in PN Review 228 (March–April 2016) by Robert Griffiths presents us with the ‘curiously coincidental’ emergence of modernist poetry alongside the revolution in physics represented by Einstein’s 1905 and 1915 papers on Special and General Relativity. Griffiths suggests ‘the fact [is] that all of this revolutionary poetry and physics (and psychology), as well as a great deal else, was going on in a mutually unrelated way’. Griffiths is right to distinguish 1915 from 1919 as far as Einstein’s notoriety and its wider cultural significance was concerned; Einstein’s work was previously little known outside even a small circle of physicists. However, while influences at any time can be subtle and complex, Griffiths’s general assertion of ‘a mutually unrelated way’ after 1919 is surely not tenable.

Griffiths refers specifically to poets Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot during their pre-1914–18, and immediate ... read more
Out of Bounds
Vahni Capildeo THE ANTONINE WALL, built in the second century on the orders of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, stretched from the Forth to the Clyde in Scotland. Much of the construction was turf. The defensive capacity was therefore different from a wall like Hadrian’s. Still, it must have been at the least an interruption for locals to encounter the Antonine life in full swing, even when or if there were no active hostilities. Oiled Romans might have been scraping themselves with strigils. Others might have been gambling; yet others soaking, chilling or steaming under the eyes of a curvaceous stone Fortuna. What would the person surprised by them – herder, laundress, domestic traveller following one of those lightly landmarked, muscle-remembered paths which do not require built lines and look like nothing to people who do not walk them, so do not know them – have noticed ... read more
Six Poems
James Womack Co-respondent

That morning, N and the baby being asleep,
I sat down to write a rebuttal to one of your love-letters.
But you know how it is:
you set out to perform some ordinary task,
to buy the bread, maybe, or else I won’t be long,
just taking the videos back to the shop,
and then round a corner
the full majesty of the goddess Freya
strikes you in the face and blinds you.
Which was how it was. I cannot live in this world,
... read more
Selected from the Archive...
Notes on a Viking Prow Christopher Middleton
TO RECAPTURE poetic reality in a tottering world, we may have to revise, once more, the idea of a poem as an expression of the "contents" of a subjectivity. Some poems, at least, and some types of poetic language, constitute structures of a singularly radiant kind, where "self-expression" has undergone a profound change of function. We experience these structures, if not as revelations of being, then as apertures upon being. We experience them as we experience nothing else.

Yet we say that a poetic text is not this or that thing out there. We say that such a virtual thing as a text is not an actual thing, that it is not even thing-like at all. Or we say that this or that text occupies an interface between things and persons, but has its ontological status only ... read more
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