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 Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 89, Volume 19 Number 3, January - February 1993.

The Sound of Shining Rodney Pybus

(for Jaroslava Niederlová; Prague, 14 August 1990)

So many years in grey uniform had made them believe
The time was over for dawdling in cobbled streets,
Too many alleys back into the old quarters of speech

Blocked by piles of rooted-up setts, even in this city
Leafed with the light of its fallen baroque,
Whose courtyards and hidden gardens still offer

Sun-dials as aides-mémoire. The days were wardens
Keeping time, saying No, there are no avenues
Where you can still feel the hope of leaving,

Just for a minute, the straight, sad route of your selves.
(Nevertheless, hope did stir, softly as a moth,
A Small Dusty Wave, say, or a Hebrew Character.)

Now these wardens would agree there was a night
We sprawled, overflowing, down the marble steps
And landings of a tower like extras in a film,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image