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)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
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)
Next Issue Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

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

The Kingfisher's Boxing Gloves James Fenton
after Baudelaire

The walrus stretches forth a wrinkled hand.
The petrel winks a dull, mascaraed eye.
Dusk comes softly, treading along the sand.
Along the wet spar and the hornbeam sky
Night is secreted in the orbit's gland.
The alligator yawns and heaves a sigh.
Between its teeth, black as an upright grand,
The mastik bird performs its dentistry.

So much sand that a man at night becomes
A perfect hourglass. Out among the dunes
They stretch the vellum on the savage drums.
The hotel bar is hushed. The bootboy croons
Softly. The manager completes his sums
And shuts the register. The end of June's
The end of his season. The song he hums

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image