PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
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 Colm Toibin on Thom Gunn's Letters Allice Hiller and Sasha Dugdale in conversation David Herman on the life of Edward W. Said Jena Schmitt on Hope Mirrlees Brian Morton: Now the Trees
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 157, Volume 30 Number 5, May - June 2004.

Four Poems Patrick McGuinness

Short Life of a Thought

                    : it starts, mist on a roll
of film, a shell's rumour of the dim remembered
    sea. But it doesn't yet exist,
being a thought unhad, a memory
    of something not yet known;
clay before flesh, sunlight burning off the fog.

Not yet itself: a flickering pilot light, a meteor's
    dead surface pocked
with DNA, life's tiny intimations. And so
    it grows, mind-muscle in flex,
learning limit as breached limit.
    All things feed and drive it.
It puts down roots; embedded,

it sends out branches, swallows the air,
    converts the space around into versions
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image