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 72, Volume 16 Number 4, March - April 1990.

The Red Shoes Roger Finch

The gates unclasp, and a seven-storey stairway,
hazed with weeds, climbs hillside toward the sky;
its columns are cypresses, punctuation marks
that shed the sun, black gloves on slender hands.
A woman gowned in peacock green ascends;
our eye catches on the peacock crest
that commands her sorrel hair, the pleated cloak
fanned out three steps behind her on the stairs.

Like a bolt of blondness suddenly uncrowned,
shards of opera, an idea of this woman's voice,
cascades from its cage and glitters in the sun;
a breeze starting south wrests from the lemon trees
branches of fragrance. The walkway banks; the sea,
indelibly blue behind the foreground greens,
surfaces into view, saturated with music.

If you were that woman in peacock green, if you turned
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image