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 266, Volume 48 Number 6, July - August 2022.

Martha, Mary and Magdalene Retouched Dan Burt
for Paula

In the left panel, Martha sits,
thighs akimbo on a tall stool,
pastels open by bare right foot,
eyes raised, brush poised to put
on canvas cruelty, fear, rape;
not Rossetti’s ethereal amateur,
but novice worthy of the ur-sister
who told off Christ, and maybe,
set him to washing-up after tea.

A woman cradles a man
in the centre painting, a Pietà
unlike Michelangelo’s five centuries ago
in cream Carrara; no Mary bowed,
bearing her son on Golgotha
but frowning, ramrod, tempered lady,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image