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)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Monthly Carcanet Books
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Helene Cixous We Defy Augury Carola Luther From ‘Letter to Rasool’ Sarah Rothenberg Ashberyana Jena Schmidt The Many-Faced Lola Ridge Helen Tookey Almost Drowning

This poem is taken from PN Review 36, Volume 10 Number 4, March - April 1984.

The Goodbyes John Ash
1 Again, the weather's wrecked the picnic.
  All those drenched frocks,
  tomato slices in flooded bowls -

  so English! the clouds, the downpour
  as evasive terms
  for a continuing epic of bad faith
  and commonplace ill-feeling. . . .

2 Yes, something has changed
  irreversibly. It speaks out of silence
  like a radio announcer
  off-cue. Time to remove the varnish? Yes. . . .

3 All departures cancelled:
  the pillars in the painting are grey
  and the sails of fishing boats
  drawn in with no hope of unfurling, -
  blue cranes of the container-depot
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image