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

(PN Review 241)
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
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books

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

De Sade John Heath-Stubbs

Laura comes forth from the porch of the temple
After High Mass. As about the Portinari
The manifest glory of supernatural Wisdom
So on her rested clarity
Of Provencal sunlight, a trecento springtime
Petrarch endured exquisite, protracted torments of passion,
Distilled to the rhetoric of fourteen lines-
Laura de Sade, the ancestress.

* * * * *

The Marquis is locked up in the Bastille
For his own good, along with a handful
Of other self-destructive incompetents;
Condemned in absentia for attempted murder-
An indiscreet afternoon orgy;
Two whores and his own brutal valet,
Also an injudicious experiment
Involving cantharides. In rage and frustration
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image