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)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Oxford University Press
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Kei Miller on poetry and volume control Parwana Fayyaz's Afghan poems Gabriel Josipovici bids farewell to Aharon Appelfeld Craig Raine plants a flag A.R. Ammons from two angles

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