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 Algorythmic Age

This poem is taken from PN Review 91, Volume 19 Number 5, May - June 1993.

Four Poems Gareth Reeves


Write down in your own words what the poet means by …
'Means, my foot. It means what I bloody well wrote,'
barked father when they set him for O Level prac. crit.

A student erupts in a seminar
'Why do we end up arguing what a poem's about?'
Touché; to fill the silence …

'And your suggestion?'
A poem should not mean but be etcetera?
A machine made of words, a sort of divine gadgetry?

Ambition was out, trust to inspiration:
over a bottle one evening, beneath his outdoor awning
father set up a recitative:

'I shall go down for the odd limpid lyric.
Let's drink to that.'

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image