PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 31, Volume 9 Number 5, May - June 1983.

Poems Elizabeth Smither

Begin in blubber like the whale
That sounds the depths and spouts
A spume like an oracle.

So Peter near the brazier
Withdraws his hands half-warmed
His words fall over as the whale breaks.

But both are rocklike. Immersed in tears
Aids floatation. Dry Judas
Searches the nearest dying tree.
 

BOY LEARNING TO SHAVE

This is where Huxley rose to confront the bishop:
'Is it from your grandmother or grandfather's side
You claim descendance from an ape?
'

Maybe Huxley stroked his beard then
At least a little face fungus makes
Good ground cover for a prayer.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image