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)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
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)
Next Issue Bill Manhire, Warm Ocean and other poems David Rosenberg, On Harold Bloom: Poetry, Psyche, God, Mortality Frederic Raphael, Obiter Dicta Gwyneth Lewis, The Auras Vahni Capildeo, Odyssey Response
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This article is taken from PN Review 39, Volume 11 Number 1, July - August 1984.

C.H. Sisson Robert Wells

The first poem by C. H. Sisson that I read was 'Numbers', which I found in Agenda when I was fifteen or sixteen. This group of epigrams, with the combination - now familiar - of delicacy and harshness, disgust and lyrical apprehension, stood out at once amid the surrounding verse and attached itself to my memory. I used to spend hours poring over the small magazines, absorbing their contents indiscriminately with the concentrated revery of adolescent reading. I knew that in this case I had found something good. But I didn't know that where there is one good poem there are always more to be found - and though I used to turn back to 'Numbers', I didn't follow up my discovery; I was too much under the spell of the poetry owners. But this foretaste meant that when In the Trojan Ditch came out about ten years later I picked the book off the shelf with expectation. I was working in a bookshop then - so that I saw it as soon as it appeared. I remember taking the book down to the engineering department where I was posted and spending as much of the day as I could in covert reading. A day or so later I bought two more copies to send to friends. The discoveries which one makes for oneself are hard to describe or recapture. Someone was speaking in the poems, and I knew that I could hear. Excitement and pleasure are not the ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image