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 Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 219, Volume 41 Number 1, September - October 2014.

Two Poems Rory Waterman
Ave Maria

So I pushed, like an eager pilgrim, up to the shrine,
up switchbacks of calcareous rock, alternately baked
and shaded by the olives and carobs, that rock.
Then cobbles spread near the summit – a rust-lidded well
hiding in a corner – and where they flattened out
it waited with its dark door, flat white walls,
a wave of brown-tiled roof, a cracked rose window.
Bells clanked brightly down in the shadowed town
where cars pressed to and fro, on the verge of silence.
A butterfly bounced across. A plane hit a mountain
but slid out the other side like a threaded needle.
Forcing the handle made the shrine door screech

and the bus-stop-sized room seemed too dark. But there they were,
ready to give their blessings for my offerings:
their unfitted crowns, dull and preposterous,

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image