PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... 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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Next Issue Alberto Manguel Selbstgefühl New poems by Fleur Adcock, Claudine Toutoungi and Tuesday Shannon James Campbell A Walk through the Times Literary Supplement
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 28, Volume 9 Number 2, November - December 1982.

Atlantis David Constantine

For Hugh and Lotte Shankland

I.
It dies hard, the notion of a just people;
   The wish that there should have been once mutual aid
Dies very hard. Through fire, through ghastly ash and any
   Smothering weight of water still we imagine
A life courteous and joyful; see them lightly clad
   Loving the sun, the vine and the grey olive.
Over the water, from trading, they come home winged
   With sails, their guide and harbinger the white dove.

II.

The sea suddenly stood up vertical, sky-high,
Bristling with the planks of their peaceful ships.
The earth roared like a bull. They said Poseidon,
Breaker of lintels, was shaking them. There was fire too
Glaring like a red eye. But the unkindest
Was of all the four elements the purest
And to breathing man his being: the air
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image