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

(PN Review 241)
Next Issue Vahni Capildeo The Boisterous Weeping of Margery Kempe Paul Muldoon The Fly Sinead Morrissey Put Off That Mask Jane Yeh Three Poems Sarah Rothenberg Poetry and Music: Exile and Return
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books

This poem is taken from PN Review 30, Volume 9 Number 4, March - April 1983.

Mandelstam's Hope for the Best Donald Davie

'man must be the hardest thing on earth'

Stout and well-knit in fact,
But avian was the impression;
Skimming compacted bird-brain.
Everyone's ikon, martyred;
In life, not altogether
Lifelike, unless as a bird.

A bird that lives on bees!
No more classical emblem,
Gentile or Jew, will the age
That martyred him permit us
Than his own chirr of bees from
Stringent and high Taigetos;

Honeybees dried and strung,
Hard pellets, unto a necklace

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image