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 Peter Scupham remembers Anthony Thwaite in 'Chimes at Midnight' Sinead Morrissey spends A Week in GdaƄsk Rebecca Watts talks with Julia Copus about Charlotte Mew Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski evoke Arseny Tarkovsky and his translator Peter Oram Frederic Raphael sends a letter to William Somerset Maugham
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 126, Volume 25 Number 4, March - April 1999.

Spending the Night in the Temple Matthew Francis

'Many dreams, they accepted, were heaven-sent The gods themselves spoke directly with the dreamer Dreams were courted deliberately in temples with special incubatory chambers, from the Britons' Lydney in Kent to the great centres at Pergamum and Aigai in Asia.'

Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians



As we walk up the hill the sun carries on setting
as for a normal night. We enter the precincts
almost a crowd and knock with its last red on
a small door that shelters in a great one.

We test the spaces with our footsteps,
small ones and great ones, dimnesses
that harden in the torchlight.

This room feels full of us.
Non-noise of blankets.

The settling place.

*

We can still manage some horizontal courtesies,
a handshake blanket to blanket, half of a smile
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image