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
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorythmic Age

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

from 'Graduals' John Peck

It will go hard against me that I stood
          unselved at turns of insomnia
       in a square thronged and torch-lit
          unmindful of the hours, waiting
       for some sanctioned promulgation, for balconies
          clarified by color and raw throats-

then syncopations of massed trumpets,
         sassy attack and blurt-tongueing
       with splays among the higher pitches,
         dilating the deliberations of banners
       among clouds, towers, and gallows-

but skin still husk-wet does not shudder
         at its terrible chrysalis.
       When the whisper came at my left shoulder
         already without sign I had consented.

And when that brass burrowed among urgencies
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image