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 30, Volume 9 Number 4, March - April 1983.

Pré-Alps Michael Hamburger

for André du Bouchet

Fore-alps I understood but meadow-alps we walked,
Lush with the many-shaped, the many-coloured clovers,
Vetches and marguerites, confusion of orchid kinds
And at the ryefield verges a foretime marriage
Of purest blue with scarlet, cornflower and poppy,
Though the wild sage could summon a still deeper blue,
Golden-eyed white was sweetest, gave out the heaviest fragrance
When wind or breeze ran loose among narcissus heads:
Persephone's meadows no farmer can quite possess.
His little herd or flock may crop the flora moist,
In winter munch the essences held in hay,
But mountainside, fallen rock, ravine where the spring waters
Creep through low leafage, gurgling, gather or cascade
Keep the man frugal, his narrow pastures rich,
Wildflowers outshone, outglittered by the wings of beetle,

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image