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 83, Volume 18 Number 3, January - February 1992.

Three Poems Ruth Valentine

MEDUSA

A violet jellyfish pierced me through the nipple
as I swam naked in a copper bay
off Karpathos. Since then I have been chosen.

The sting was on the left side, close to the heart.
I heard it again in the sharp twang of a lyre
played in the night in the time before defeat.
A waiter blessed the street with a glass of water.

They said the medusas had come to the Aegean
through the Dardanelles, along with the Russian fleet
seeking a warm-water harbour for absolution.
This was possible

as was the other idea, that the gods had fallen
off the rocks into the sea, and were bobbing, breeding
in their old obsessive way among the dolphins,

now and then coming to land, to muddy an icon
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image