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 Subha Mukherji Dying and Living with De la Mare Carl Phillips Fall Colors and other poems Alex Wylie The Bureaucratic Sublime: on the secret joys of contemporary poetry Marilyn Hacker Montpeyroux Sonnets David Herman Memories of Raymond Williams
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 191, Volume 36 Number 3, January - February 2010.

Ghazals Jee Leong Koh

You look into a stone and see its early fire

You look into a stone and see its early fire.
You look into a fire and all you see is fire.

The issue, that we saw each other only twice,
is I have no more hands to thrust into the fire.

Time is a river. That is if you are a fish.
If you are a sunflower, time is a fire.

We do not ever know what the gods want of us.
Perhaps that is why we compare them to a fire.

A charred library is sadder than a pile of ash.
A body catches but it does not cage a fire.

Saying it makes no difference to the universe
but when did saying anything else stop a fire?

Sick of analogies, you want to know the thing.
What are you, Love, when you are not a fire?


Among the ways to take a good look at a tree

Among the ways to take a good look at a tree,
the best is to lie down and look up at a tree.

I can no more hold you by naming qualities
than sacred names scratched out in bark possess the tree.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image