Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
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 Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 25, Volume 8 Number 5, May - June 1982.

Breaking Ground Alison Brackenbury

I / VISIT

It is no use pretending

this place does not exist:

or saying

there is nothing noble here:
which is true: it is the bottom of the world
the grey sea-bed, where the quick fishes gleam
and turn away. And were there others, once?
we feel, there should be bones: but mud has eaten them.

This place remains too mean to love the dead
or any living thing
admits the day
as pressure of thick water on the forehead-
we do not think to breathe again. Despair
lies several fathoms up. By it, perhaps,
by evening you'll have risen to the dune,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image