Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
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 Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

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

Two Poems Tom Docherty
At the Grave of Ludwig Wittgenstein

Not death but overgrowth. Gorgeous
throat of earth, excess of abyss:
I see the stumps of trees and raise
them the constellation-branches,
a second nature’s necklaces,
and this, a string of sentences
but not. This strings what I invent.
I have no idea where you went.

Theory of Tuning Pianos

It begins not with a book
nor even an attentive ear.
You have to sit and live with the thing.
You must learn to see grand gestures
in a shiver, discern
each silence of every different moment.

Now place a finger. Be careful:
you are pressing on a beating heart.
Desire to understand nothing that is not
this beating heart. You cannot hear
the equations being made
perfect between two bodies.

Sound in another place. It is yours
to say well- or ill-tempered. Align shoulder
and breast. When time for movement,
move; rest
in the intervals. If your touch is not light,
make light of your thought.

So much is said by the breath
that follows. You are now
at the heart of the way
all this is numbered.
It is imperative you do not speak.
It begins to sound like your lover is awake.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image