PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorhythmic Age

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

Three Poems Steven Blyth

Superstitions

Out for the night, we leave the hall light on -
Safer to suggest someone's in. Today, the bulb's gone.

The up-lighter shade cups some dead spiders.
I swirl out their webs like candy-floss with my screwdriver.

It's as if they were spun to blot out the bulb's light,
Them wanting us back in the days of oil lamps, candles, flint,

Days when, superstitions stronger, they had more influence:
It meant money if one fell on your face,

Good luck if one clung to your clothing,
One worn live in a bag cured most things.

Legs folded in, each looks like an apple pip,
As if it is their dying hope

That I'll count them, chanting tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor...
Instead, I drop them onto a page from the local paper,

Note its stories of poormen, beggermen, thieves.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image