PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... 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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 147, Volume 29 Number 1, September - October 2002.

The State of the Prisons Sinéad Morrissey

A History of John Howard, Prison Reformer, 1726-1790

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
                                                           Psalm 17:15


I

I am a stranger and a pilgrim here.
I burn my letters, decline a monument, take heart
from the body's incontinence. The spirit departs.
The field hospitals of Russia with their horrendous dead
must carry me home to the Lord my Maker
where all my fathers' fathers stand assembled.

I see these soldiers' faces when I sleep.
And then they cloud and clear again as the child's
who stopped me on the road to ask the time
and tried to steal my watch. How sick she is.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image