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 John McAuliffe poems and conversation Charles Dobzynski translated by Marilyn Hacker Maya C. Popa in conversation with Caroline Bird Richard Gwyn With Lowry in Cuernavaca Jane Draycott Four Poems
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 253, Volume 46 Number 5, May - June 2020.

Moving Day and other poems Jenny King
Were there Trams in Odessa?

(overheard question)

Sepia. Tall house-fronts, pale above the dark streets.
Three tiny figures in heavy coats,
walking. What year is it?

It is the sepia year of long ago.
There was no time then. Streets were empty,
shops unvisited.

Inscrutable stillness, the camera’s moment
fixed against the flickering human eye.
Caged in history.

No. The picture’s imagined, conjured up
by that creative tool the hopeful brain
which mixes memory and invention.

But such a place and such a year existed
outside the mind’s embroidery. There was trade,

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image