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 report is taken from PN Review 198, Volume 37 Number 4, February - March 2011.

Almost Nothing But Sudden Impulses Frank Kuppner
A little submerged in the latest mild bout of a somewhat flattening ailment, I am taking the opportunity of listening to music which I feel I have been neglecting for a shamefully long time - until a fine piece catches my particular attention. What? William Byrd. Browning a 5. A moderately peculiar name, perhaps - but at least it does serve to remind me that G.K. Chesterton's study of Robert Browning is surely still somewhere in that cupboard beyond the bed? It should fit the present subdued mood. Isn't it about time I tried to reread it?

And I duly dig it out soon enough. But now here's another volume just below it - a cheap, officially discarded library book which I have no recollection whatsoever of buying. Did I really once hand over honest coinage for this? Presumably it was acquired on a moment's impulse and then forgotten about as soon as landed. It's called Mrs Browning, and it's a brief biography of another poet. I grasp the connection at once. (I must at last be on the mend!) Yes. I decide to investigate this unexpected newcomer instead.

From it I soon learn, for instance, that Shelley took lodgings in Poland Street, in order to show solidarity with the contemporary plight of the Poles. Well, it's always a start, I suppose. Furthermore, Shelley had, it seems, a son called Wilmouse who died very young. This is news to me. Can it be true? Besides which, isn't ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image