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 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