Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
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 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
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 156, Volume 30 Number 4, March - April 2004.

Two Poems Andrew Waterman

The Tyrrhenian Sea

This is how it must have felt to Odysseus:
one after another the islands rising from water,

Stromboli streaming out lava, next Panarea
around which sea gurgles with gases, then twin-peaked Salina

where the fleshy Aeolian caper grows, that some claim
is the land of the sirens; past Lipari's towering cliffs

(far islands two tents pitched on blue), we swing between
rock-fangs and fuming Vulcano, on up to landfall...

Though mine is no skiff with one sail, but pounding beneath me
the ferry from Naples. And he blew in from the east.

If these were his islands: all efforts to chart him founder.
In Homer the isle of Aeolus keeper of winds

has sheer rock cliffs, but it is a floating island...
Mariners then were returning with tales made taller

in telling: sorceries, shepherds who'd chased them away

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image