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)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
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)
Next Issue John McAuliffe poems and conversation Charles Dobzynski translated by Marilyn Hacker Maya C. Popa in conversation with Caroline Bird Richard Gwyn With Lowry in Cuernavaca Jane Draycott Four Poems
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Five Poems Les Murray

Green Rose Tan
Poverty is still sacred. Christian
and political candles burn before it
for a little longer. But secretly

poverty revered is poverty outlived:
childhoods among bed-ticking midnights
blue as impetigo mixture, through the grilles,

cotton-rancid contentments of exhaustion
around Earth's first kerosene lamp
indoors out of wet root-crop fields.

Destitution's an antique. The huge-headed
are sad chaff blown by military bohemians.
Their thin metal bowls are filled or not

from the sky by deodorized descendants
of a tart-tongued womb-noticing noblesse
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image