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 195, Volume 37 Number 1, September - October 2010.

Literary Lives R.K.R. Thornton

Ernest Dowson

Of the ways of writing a poem, one way is
Where the sound’s what you fashion the sense with; another
Where you try for a mood, not seeking out harmonies.
And they don’t come together so often, these ways,
Except as how sometimes the sea’s crash is music;
Or the motion expressed in some music’s a mood.

That’s where Dowson comes in. That’s his mood;
And critics go jaunting along: ‘No variety;
He only says one thing: he’s in love and wants peace,
But she won’t; so he yearns, grows sad, world-weary.’
But they see the words circling and ignore their hearing.
Listen. Oh, but there’s music in Dowson.

Say what you will, there’s more than just Cynara
Stuck like a cherry on top of the Nineties,
More than just dabbling in Verlaine and Pater,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image