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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Next Issue Fire and Tears: a meditation, VAHNI CAPILDEO Grodzinksi’s Kosher Bakery and other poems, MICHAEL BRETT Vienna, MARIUS KOCIEJOWSKI In conversation with John Ash, JEFFREY KAHRS Play it all the way through, first – but slowly, KIRTSY GUNN
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

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

Two Poems Gottfried Benn

FINIS POLONIAE

Finis Poloniae
a turn of speech
which, apart from its historical context,
means the end of powerful empires.

An atmosphere bewitched.
Everyone choking with anguish.
The air a hybrid-its one thought, if it had any,
of monsoon, European
and yellow seas.

Greatness bears the seed of its own destruction,
and utters its last words to itself:
an alien song, mostly mistaken
or tolerated now and then.

Finis Poloniae.
One rainy day perhaps, not over popular
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image