PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... 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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
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