Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
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 Hal Coase 'Ochre Pitch' Gregory Woods 'On Queerness' Kirsty Gunn 'On Risk! Carl Phillips' Galina Rymbu 'What I Haven't Written' translated by Sasha Dugdale Gabriel Josipovici 'No More Stories' Valerie Duff-Strautmann 'Anne Carson's Wrong Norma'
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 189, Volume 36 Number 1, September - October 2009.

Six Poems Gareth Reeves

The Shape of Pain

‘What figure has the pain of the toothache, and our remembrance
of that pain? Is it triangular, or circular, or of a square form?’
      James Beattie, Dissertations Moral and Critical (1783)

Every day it gets a little less.
Wait for the vanishing point.

Parallels reach for infinity.
It goes on gnawing at the edge.

Somewhere out there it stops, it must.
Out there the blue intensifies.

Tomorrow remember it today.
Today imagine it tomorrow.

Look forward to the backward look.
Every day it grows a little less:

I want it and I do not want it to.
I give it a shape. I give it this.


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image