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 o'sn 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 114, Volume 23 Number 4, March - April 1997.

Aeolian Kazoo Ben Downing


Not the dulcet harp of Thomson, Coleridge
et al. I can't afford the ormolu,
the pretense of the wind god whiffling through
in celestial puffs, a kapellmeister midge

at work for me, pluck pluck, among the strings.
Such instruments are fickle, hothouse things;
you might put one before a khamsin, say,
which Brewer salutes as 'a fifty days'

wind in Egypt', and scarcely cop a plink
therefrom. Pampero, harmattan and mistral:
none can make a troubadour or prink
the tin-eared poetaster's caterwaul.

I, for instance, took my verse box to Peru,
held it in the snapping puna gale,
and didn't get so much as doggerel.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image