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 82, Volume 18 Number 2, November - December 1991.

Counting Sheep White Blood Cells Sujata Bhatt

(for Jo Shapcott)

It was like being ordered
              to count the stars
and to classify them
by their size, their brightness -

And it was like being ordered
to count all the tiny wild flowers
in a never-ending field
        and to name them -

There were days
when she, the lab technician
would sit staring through the microscope
for five hours straight
counting sheep white blood cells.

It didn't put her to sleep.
Instead, it made her eyes feel powerful,
it made her feel wired

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image