PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... 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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

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

Three Poems Elaine Feinstein
Emanuel
i.m. Emanuel Litvinoff (1915-2011)

With your sardonic, Sam Spade elegance,
your pale clothes, always clean and pressed,
and that lean body women knew at once
would give them pleasure, still, those bitter
lines from nose to mouth suggest,
you felt a sense of failure,

a childhood misery always ready to pounce,
from the doorways you slept in, long ago
on the streets. Writing saved you once,
and books in the Whitechapel library:
A poet, like the Messiah, carries no cash.
You were precociously aware of poetry;

your soldier-lyrics first, then, after the War
finding the Cosmo, and Canetti,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image