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)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
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)
Next Issue John McAuliffe poems and conversation Charles Dobzynski translated by Marilyn Hacker Maya C. Popa in conversation with Caroline Bird Richard Gwyn With Lowry in Cuernavaca Jane Draycott Four Poems
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July - August 2014.

‘Seferis Among the Agapanthus’ and Other Poems Michael Mott
Seferis Among the Agapanthus

Ambassador, always, to the griefs of Greece,
you claim these flowers your own in second exile
by calling them the ‘asphodels of blacks’.

Blue darkened with violet blue, or white,
not quite the colours of your flag, the root
a lovecharm for a Xhosa bride, the flower a guide

to everlasting exile. Stems like shafts
mark out a silent Iliad, Tshaka with no Homer,
the wetting of the spears at Isandlwana

and all the levels of the dead before the Zulus.
Nine buried Africas prop up Pretoria’s streets
of offices and jacaranda trees, typists, fans

that shave the air in butchers’ slices, ticking
off time not spent in Athens, or near Smyrna,
hours of the asphodels, whites’ agapanthus.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image