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.

For Laurence Olivier
with Years of Gratitude
Stanley Moss
I do not speak at the beginning
but the end of a breath.
My first night on a public stage,
not having the money for the toll bridge or subway,
I swam across the Thames and East River.
I was an Ancient Greek naked actor,
I played tragedy and comedy, the attendance
by law only free Athenian men.

Like any child, I acted,
most stop in their teens,
let the curtain fall forever.
They dream their own dreams,
while actors spend their lives
acting out the dreams of others.

I sometimes explode a spoken word.
I never gabble. In Shakespeare’s day,

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image