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)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
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)
Next Issue Bill Manhire, Warm Ocean and other poems David Rosenberg, On Harold Bloom: Poetry, Psyche, God, Mortality Frederic Raphael, Obiter Dicta Gwyneth Lewis, The Auras Vahni Capildeo, Odyssey Response
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

Four Poems Angela Leighton
Janáćek’s Notes

as he notated his daughter’s dying breaths

I time you, dearest, to the last minute now,
hold your departing to a page of notes,
scribble each phrase your breathing makes
in breves, minims, in the pause between
each catch, acciaccatura, of your breath –
its stress and start, then a rest – rest…
I hear its sparing quiet on your chest.

I time you, living, to save your breath,
Olga, Jenufa, in the world’s free air
that’s large enough to sustain the tune
we make, breathing, still lightly keeping
time for a time till, two against three,
these sudden faint syncopations misalign,
and you’re out – on a beat much wider than mine.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image