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 Alberto Manguel TRANSLATING DANTE Sasha Dugdale translates Osip Mandelstam ‘ON FINDING A HORSESHOE’ Horatio Morpurgo THE THAMES BY NIGHT Jenny Lewis SEEING THROUGH THE WORDS Frederic Raphael TO VLADIMIR NABOKOV
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 50, Volume 12 Number 6, July - August 1986.

Rites of Passage Roger Garfitt

Comfortable words, framed
in darker times than ours,
are ruined archways,

rusted gates, lych gate
or kissing gate, beaten paths
to love or death

that dwindle out of use.
As our forefathers knew,
their ways are grass

- a by-way their sense of
comfortable, a castle stump
in the marches
 
that marks where a language
lost its fight. The formless
is given ground.

A name thumbed off the map
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image