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
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
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)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Sasha Dugdale On Vision Yehuda Amichai's Blessing Chris Miller on Alvin Feinman Rebecca Watts Blue Period and other poems Patrick McGuinness's Mother as Spy

This poem is taken from PN Review 204, Volume 38 Number 4, March - April 2012.

Testators Fleur Adcock
Anthony Cave, 1558

One monument to her dear Anthony
was not enough. Even his will allowed for
two: 'no sumptuous pomp', he said, but
a stone 'of no great value' in the north aisle

and 'a picture of death upon the wall'.
It hovers above him, engraved in brass,
a skeleton trussed in a transparent shroud
like a polythene bag: 'So shall you be'.

Elizabeth, who would have cradled his bones,
saw all done; and then, as she must,
married twice more - Chicheley was a prize.
Eighteen years later, widowed a third time,

her four daughters dowried and settled,
and the future of the house secure,
she was Anthony's again; and yielded
to a degree of sumptuous pomp.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image