PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Colm Toibin on Thom Gunn's Letters Allice Hiller and Sasha Dugdale in conversation David Herman on the life of Edward W. Said Jena Schmitt on Hope Mirrlees Brian Morton: Now the Trees
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 237, Volume 44 Number 1, September - October 2017.

Neither Near Nor Far Away Judith Willson
per il mar senz’onde e senza lidi,
le péste né vicine né lontane.

                                             – Giovanni Pascoli, ‘Nella nebbia’

You are thinking about hens,
how they bubble like kettles,
how they hitch up their skirts
and scuttle like busy women.

Your grey sisters whisper
you must not be disturbed.
Your good household women.

Hens with their old red eyes,
their sideways calculations.
They do not miss a single grain of maize,
scrabbling like women in the market
who have only one coin left.

How long ago
a circle of girls in the evening, heads bent,
tearing open papery husks, songs
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image