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 69, Volume 16 Number 1, September - October 1989.

Ode to Dead Friends Guy Butler

All Saints Day
South Africa 1987

Outside is no-mans-land.
Loud-hailers, cries, shots, then martial tunes;
Black anger dancing, prancing out of hand,
Snaffled by conscript boys in steel platoons.
Dear cloud of witnesses,
Familiar with temptations to despair,
Pour your reviving light through this distress,
On all whose pain no being seems to share.
Bright sun of many petals, burn
Above us as we turn
Our hearts' cold prisms to your warming rays,
To welcome them and spill in radiant line
Such rainbows as define
Each immemorial self unique in its design.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image