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 71, Volume 16 Number 3, January - February 1990.

Elegy Anne Stevenson

Whenever my father was left with nothing to do -
  waiting for someone to 'get ready',
or facing the gap between graduate seminars
  and dull after-suppers in his study
grading papers or writing a review -
  he played the piano.

I think of him packing his lifespan
  carefully, like a good leather briefcase,
each irritating chore wrapped in floating passages
  for the left hand and right hand
by Chopin or difficult Schumann;
  nothing inside it ever rattled loose.

Not rationalism, though you could cut your tongue
  on the blade of his reasonable logic.
Only at the piano did he become
  the bowed, reverent, wholly absorbed Romantic.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image