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 Sasha Dugdale, Intimacy and other poems Eugene Ostashevsky, The Feeling Sonnets Nyla Matuk, The Resistance Alex Wylie, Democratic Rags Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Two poems from the archive
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

Letter to no-one Alison Brackenbury
Tall as the dark-worn suburbs of the heart,
I could draw conversations where you gave
Right answer to my riddle: a cheating known as art.
But I would not betray
The silence of your listening, you who are not there.
The lime trees are in flower. Their leaves flash white,
Tender the young twigs flower. The air is light
With scent, and green and frail and stirred by bees
As every sense forgets. Yet it returns.
A footstep on the carpet shakes room warm
With presence. 'What of this?' your long ironic mouth
Demands me. And I ask you, say we salvage this from war
This lost scent; though the lime-trees rise in storm.

Return of the provinces

The provinces are back, in dreaming shabbiness,
Suburbs where I grow roses, paint my sill.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image