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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Next Issue Sharif Elmusa on Mourid Barghouti Lorna Goodison Christmas Poem Brian Morton Now Patricia Craig Val Warner: a reminiscence John McAuliffe Bill Manhire in Conversation
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 9, Volume 6 Number 1, September - October 1979.

Before Company Andrew Motion

It is always the same: waking alone
to rows of ochre lights in the village
a field away, then watching them
flicker when birds set out or trees
drive shadows between. With no one

to listen I name them whatever I like
say they are perfect communities,
windows completing a broken globe
where speech renews itself. Ten years
is little enough to learn their lives

ignore my own, fulfilling a tiny room
as soft familiar silence settles again.
How suddenly fear begins; imaging
love denied its visible world I see
him sleeping upstairs, who calls me

darling, his wife, and almost believe

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image