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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Next Issue Beverley Bie Brahic, after Leopardi's 'Broom' Michael Freeman Benefytes and Consolacyons Miles Burrows At Madame Zaza’s and other poems Victoria Kenefick Hunger Strike Hilary Davies Haunted by Christ
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 254, Volume 46 Number 6, July - August 2020.

An Arch Wherethro’ and other poems Sean O'Brien
Keep Out

The wood belongs there. But the tumbled wall
And the iron gates long since unhinged
Would have you think that the estate itself
Was never new, that here is the original

Whose copper beech and monstrous laurels
Were the servants of the grand design
Of everything this silence means to say:
Keep out, keep out, desire not.

Which must be why we come at dusk.
Although the keeper’s dead and gone,
To trespass in this senile paradise
Might still incur a penalty, a tax perhaps

On understanding, so that when we disbelievers
Wander in, the danger is that we may feel
We ‘understand’ the longing that secured

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image