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 53, Volume 13 Number 3, January - February 1987.

Two Poems Cliff Ashby

Poem

They blamed her dad for giving her ideas.
Not, God forbid, they found ambition wrong!
But for young girls it seemed unnatural.
To be a lady's-maid or needlewoman was admirable -
Next best to being a wife -
But to speak with equal grammar and more thought
Than one's employer; there danger lay.
Better a mindless wretch scrubbing floors
Than being cause for embarrassing one's betters.
Hide your wonder in the drab of service,
Who knows, you might get pregnant by the master -
Or sacked for not.
But she, poor girl, was damaged by the spring.
Blood and body burgeoning into floods of flowers
Beauty bludgeoned her.
Overlooking Boxhill, late light casting shadow
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image