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)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Subha Mukherji Dying and Living with De la Mare Carl Phillips Fall Colors and other poems Alex Wylie The Bureaucratic Sublime: on the secret joys of contemporary poetry Marilyn Hacker Montpeyroux Sonnets David Herman Memories of Raymond Williams
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 4, Volume 4 Number 4, July - September 1978.

Three Poems Robert B. Shaw

ART AND LIFE
Sitting on the terrace,
I squint through sunglasses
finally at the final page
of a novel two weeks long.
A breeze hovers expectantly
as things draw to a close:

'. . . He turned so as not to see her retreating form. He heard the door close softly. Standing on the darkening terrace he thought, almost said, I can't stand this. I can't take it any more. But the placid continuance of his surroundings-nodding flowers beside him, mossy bricks underfoot, the ancient house bulking up behind-seemed somehow to discount the force of his assertion. Distance might provide the perspective on things which he badly needed. He went out past the gate-flanking laburnums, walking very fast.'

Only a momentary breeze: it died.
The sun pours down too hotly
here on actions nowhere near
as sinister or completed.
Take your own forever
retreating form: it never
definitively withdraws, the door
never quite shuts (unless
it's fallen to so quietly
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image