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 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