PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorhythmic Age

This poem is taken from PN Review 45, Volume 12 Number 1, September - October 1985.

Poems Roger Clarke


My grandfather, an arable man,
Was kin to the soil's fierce practicality:
Smoking his own foul tobacco plant,
Eating his own hothouse nectarines.
One day, from an old school friend Caernarvon
He received an unexpected gift -
Some grains of dessicated, ancient corn
From the newfound tomb of Tutankhamun.
What should he do with such a curiosity,
Little parts of mummy, let them moulder
In some old cabinet, viewed with idle interest?
He did the only honest thing:
He planted them.

Drawn by their own surprise
The lessened flakes began to germinate;

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image