PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorythmic Age

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

Water Rachel Hadas

                           If seven maids with seven mops. . .

     Water the level of the soul and water
     the voice it finds. All voyages begin
     when time the maid armed with her suffering mop
     has swept the whole beach clean.

     And what led up to such a laundering?
     Beauty. Terror.
     Everything that came after
     rinsed the grit from the swirl of surf we stood in.

     The fineground sand reminded us
     of myriad bathings drained
     but for a residue under
     our arching toes, cold that slid slowly backward.

     Beach: voyage. On a lazy summer sea
     I float companioned by a silent mentor.
     We carve a channel between velvet green

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image