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 Colm Toibin on Thom Gunn's Letters Allice Hiller and Sasha Dugdale in conversation David Herman on the life of Edward W. Said Jena Schmitt on Hope Mirrlees Brian Morton: Now the Trees
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

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