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)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Alberto Manguel Selbstgefühl New poems by Fleur Adcock, Claudine Toutoungi and Tuesday Shannon James Campbell A Walk through the Times Literary Supplement
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

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

Three Poems John Birtwhistle
On a Conducted Tour

Here we are, in the renowned Spiegel Café,
scene of the last poem before he shot himself.
Yes, all these mirrors are great for selfies.

This is the actual corner seat where he watched
via those mirrors the demented gentleman
– Do grab yourselves a coffee while you can –

whom the regulars dubbed The Professor
who’d sit all day long with endless pots of tea,
soundlessly declaiming to his imaginary class

– and don’t miss out on the legendary gâteaux
drenched in liqueur, though in our poet’s day
the Spiegel was, as it were, more bohemian.

You can take it in turns to sit exactly here
and I’ll go round the corner so you can spy
on my reflection pretending to mime,

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image