Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
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 Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 258, Volume 47 Number 4, March - April 2021.

No Rabbit Rebecca Perry
I once wrote a poem which appeared to mourn the death of a pet.

After reading it, a friend asked about the pet, which he presumed to be a dog.

I told him that the dog was a figment of my imagination, as was its death and the scenario in which
  I imagined its memorial:

the person I was with in the poem, the cold evening and the frost that formed on the grass.

The friend, a poet, seemed annoyed and disappointed.

He had wanted to be in on the trick

even if he couldn’t be sure what would be pulled from the hat.

Lying comes with many responsibilities, or as many as we choose to acknowledge, or none.

Or it needn’t be called lying at all.

The two scenes I described in the poem were not retellings but I have,
in other streams of time, known the deaths of animals and humans,

and dark nights and frost on the grass,

and being in the quiet company of another person in the aftermath of grief, as has practically everyone else.

The poem, in part, had been about how we manage death in ritual or through contact with the living, or how
  we fail to manage it at all.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image