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 163, Volume 31 Number 5, May - June 2005.

Nine Poems Robert Wells

Bengal Nights

That was 'abuse'.
                               But you were resentful only
When your night-visitors, the eleven cousins
Older than you, drawn to your bed in turn,
Excluded you by day from their licit games.

Alternately the chosen one, the ignored one!
With what bland ease you succumbed, as if by right,
To that importunate cherishing, how gladly
Took instruction from its succession of whims,

I should have guessed, as innocently I played
The role assigned - honorary twelfth cousin,
Your refuge from the others,
                                                and have known then
What grievance follows after the charm has failed.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image