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)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Monthly Carcanet Books
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Kei Miller Sometimes I Consider the Names of Places Kyoo Lee's A Close Up and Marjorie Perloff's response John McAuliffe City of Trees Don Share on Whitman's Bicentenary Jeffrey Wainwright and Jon Glover on Geoffrey Hill's Gnostic

This poem is taken from PN Review 59, Volume 14 Number 3, January - February 1988.

Meeting the Comet (Poem) Fleur Adcock

Before

1
She'll never be able to play the piano -
well, not properly. She'll never be able
to play the recorder, even, at school,
when she goes: it has so many little holes . . .

We'll have her taught the violin.
Lucky her left hand's the one with four
fingers, one for each string. A thumb
and a fleshy fork are enough to hold a bow.

2
Before the calculator - the electronic one -
there were beads to count on; there was the abacus
to tell a tally or compute a score;
or there were your fingers, if you had enough.

The base was decimal: there had to be
a total of ten digits, in two sets -
a bunch of five, another bunch of five.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image