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 155, Volume 30 Number 3, January - February 2004.

Two Poems Sinéad Morrissey

The Yellow Emperor's Classic

after Gong Sun

The body is China.
Middle kingdom between here
and hereafter, it is compromised from the start.
Messengers are important.

China has been an imperial system
for centuries, and repeats itself endlessly.
The heart is its emperor.
All other organs are the emperor's courtiers -

see poor pericardium
go slack with deflected shame.
A king may never be blamed directly, so
heart-sac swallows heart-blows uncomplainingly.

We are constantly at the mercy
of pernicious influences: cold, damp, dry, wind,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image