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
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Vahni Capildeo The Boisterous Weeping of Margery Kempe Paul Muldoon The Fly Sinead Morrissey Put Off That Mask Jane Yeh Three Poems Sarah Rothenberg Poetry and Music: Exile and Return

This poem is taken from PN Review 24, Volume 8 Number 4, March - April 1982.

The Log of 'The Beagle' John Heath-Stubbs

    1. JEMMY BUTTON AND FUEGIA BASKET
They were named from what they were sold for-a brass button,
A commonplace wicker basket, not worth three,
Much less thirty pieces of silver.

Magellan had gone that way, having rounded the stormy Horn.
His men, in the darkness, crossed themselves, seeing
The land to the south full of little points
Of glowing light. They crouched over their fires,
With only makeshift shelters. Houses they built,
But those were for their gods.

Jemmy and Fuegia were bought for Christian civilization.
It did not take. Jemmy was stripped and robbed
By his own comrades, once more a naked savage.
Fuegia, it seems, became
A sailors' communal drab.

The world was all before them, but no choice-
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image