PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
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)
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
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Sasha Dugdale On Vision Yehuda Amichai's Blessing Chris Miller on Alvin Feinman Rebecca Watts Blue Period and other poems Patrick McGuinness's Mother as Spy

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

Two Poems John Ash

FERNS AND THE NIGHT

'Und wir hörten sie noch von ferne
Trotzig singen im Wald.'


This is the sort of place you might arrive at after a long journey
involving the deaths of several famous monsters,
only to be disappointed almost to the point of grief

Heavy clouds hang in a clump above a wide, perfectly level plain
which is the image of a blank mind. Night is falling.
There is a wooden house, a lighted porch: it is a scene of
      'marvellous simplicity'.-
too marvellous perhaps: the very grain of the wood offers itself
for our admiration, and the light has such 'warmth'
it is hard to restrain tears. The clouds are now distinctly purple,
agitated,-a kind of frantically stirred borsch, suitable backdrop
for some new opera's Prelude of Foreboding, but not for this
      ambiguous scene
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image