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 49, Volume 12 Number 5, May - June 1986.

Four Poems Les A. Murray

FASTNESS

I am listening for words the eldest
of three brothers must have uttered
magically, out of their whole being

to make a sergeant major look down
at the stamped grass, and not have them stopped
as they walked, not trooped, off his shouting
showground parade, in the brown
fatal clothes and pink boots they'd been given,

to retrieve their own horses and vanish
bearing even the unloaded strap rifles
the Government would still be pursuing
a decade later, along with the brothers.

I have come as far as officials
and sergeants ever came, telling their
hillbilly yarns: the boy-headed calf,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image