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 Colm Toibin on Thom Gunn's Letters Allice Hiller and Sasha Dugdale in conversation David Herman on the life of Edward W. Said Jena Schmitt on Hope Mirrlees Brian Morton: Now the Trees
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 81, Volume 18 Number 1, September - October 1991.

Four Poems Alison Brackenbury

NEAR KARIBA

In the small plane to Bumi
rattling from runways, I saw
a small table, spread with yellow, stand
in the green of the rain, of tough African grass
by the scrub, by the tarmac, the blue frown of cloud.

It is Livingstone's table, scratched with his sweat
and immaculate lines as he sketches his plan
for coffee plantations in view of the Falls.
The hippo munch glossy sprays, night after night.

It is the camp table where Rhodes sits to meet
with the Matabele, who nod, who make peace.
They are given drains; God; bungalows.
Still the nightjar accuses, a whirling white bat.

It is a table upon the rough lawn
of the house in the deep wood, the tollkeeper's house
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image