Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
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 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
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 136, Volume 27 Number 2, November - December 2000.

Three Poems Christopher Middleton

Now to the Elements

in memory of Ernst Jandl

Peace, haughty voices
Propounding on the radio
Motets in trimeters.

Who ekes you out? A gnome? Oh no,
A kindly man whose back is bent,
He pumps a wooden bar

The nether end of which
Propels the bows across viola strings -
Strings; no doubt about it.

Expunged a human element,
The manuals achieve a formal
Clockwork. So the music sounds

Satisfactory, till across
A cobalt sky gusts of air
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image