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 Sasha Dugdale, Intimacy and other poems Eugene Ostashevsky, The Feeling Sonnets Nyla Matuk, The Resistance Alex Wylie, Democratic Rags Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Two poems from the archive
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 84, Volume 18 Number 4, March - April 1992.

Doctor Honoris Causa Marius Kociejowski

1

I should have seen the beard in the cradle.
And had my shepherd's breath raked your smooth face
I might have caught beyond those warbled sounds you
   made
The terrible, exact sentences they would become.
You must allow an old man's haggling with time:
A minute is a yardstick hurled through space.

               I was your teacher once.
I taught you to see in the dark of ignorance
The shapes which certain words make and those words
   too
With which men who have something to hide sheathe
   meaning with mire.
I could not abide the way you handled a blade,
Yet glad I was when you moved with guile against your
   foes.
Who would not be proud to serve a boy who could bend
   with ease the bow of language?
We knew beauty once and we huddled close
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image