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 Sasha Dugdale, Intimacy and other poems Eugene Ostashevsky, The Feeling Sonnets Nyla Matuk, The Resistance Alex Wylie, Democratic Rags Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Two poems from the archive
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 118, Volume 24 Number 2, November - December 1997.

After 'The Cave of Gold' Iain Crichton-Smith

The following is based on but not directly translated from a Gaelic poem called The Cave of Gold.

He went into the cave
as into a grave
playing his pipes.

And the green bitch savaged them.

She snapped furiously at the bag
with her sharp teeth, and the music flagged
into the grey prevailing fog.

O the green bitch savaged them.

I shall not return,
shall not return,

though the rash boy should become old bone

though the gauche girl should become old crone

though the moss be in the bagpipes' drone.

I'll not return.

From the green hill the green bitch came.
O was it Nature was its name
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image