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)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Vahni Capildeo The Boisterous Weeping of Margery Kempe Paul Muldoon The Fly Sinead Morrissey Put Off That Mask Jane Yeh Three Poems Sarah Rothenberg Poetry and Music: Exile and Return

This poem is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

City of Trees John McAuliffe
22.5.17

‘their greenness is a kind of grief’ — Philip Larkin
‘I would give Manchester back to the shepherds’ — Oscar Wilde



At the Town Hall valedictory do, the curator’s art in parks –
her metal tree – and the gallery’s diversity, get credit,
which she abjures: ‘luck is the residue of design’,
a quote which, around the room, sparks
applause, not for herself, or the line,
nor of course the fact that she is heading south,
but that it asks for this new order to be acknowledged,
and sees the city’s sprawl as managed.

Cycling back, under the candled chestnuts, past her gallery
and through the Curry Mile’s neon influence –
its last two Irish pubs, the Clarence
and the Whitworth refitted now as a Christian café
and a chrome-and-glass shisha bar – the crowd
is nothing on the night twenty thousand Libyans invaded
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image