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 Subha Mukherji Dying and Living with De la Mare Carl Phillips Fall Colors and other poems Alex Wylie The Bureaucratic Sublime: on the secret joys of contemporary poetry Marilyn Hacker Montpeyroux Sonnets David Herman Memories of Raymond Williams
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 123, Volume 25 Number 1, September - October 1998.

Four Poems Paul Wilkins


You can't say what it is.
A Thursday music, with no libretto.

That last afternoon you remember with your mother:
the lawn half trodden away, the vast damp sheets
thrapping on the line; a grey sky beyond,
and the windows she had polished
so clean onto forever.

Is it only in words that we find our lives?
You were too young, so they failed you.
Now they are the everything that smokes a shape on nothing.

What you look back to,
always too hazed to be understood or forgiven.
A tall sky there beyond you.
What you look onward to, its nameless melting.

Secrets no one hid or knew to keep.
Each in its lost years, certain, waiting for you.

My Tired Darlings

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image