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 Peter Scupham remembers Anthony Thwaite in 'Chimes at Midnight' Sinead Morrissey spends A Week in Gdańsk Rebecca Watts talks with Julia Copus about Charlotte Mew Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski evoke Arseny Tarkovsky and his translator Peter Oram Frederic Raphael sends a letter to William Somerset Maugham
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 227, Volume 42 Number 3, January - February 2016.

‘Waiting for the Nightingales’ and other poems Miles Burrows
Waiting for the Nightingales  

In Dewar’s Himalayan and Kashmiri Birds
Songs of different species are set down clearly:
Soft, mellow pee-ho (Indian oriole)
A loud pleasant call of three notes: think of me (grey headed flycatcher)
Loud, plaintive pee-you pee-you (Great Himalayan barbet)
Melodious wherefore-wherefore (Indian cuckoo)
Crescendo brain-fever, brain-fever, BRAIN-FEVER (large hawk-cuckoo)
A loud, shrill did he do it? Pity to do it! (red wattled lapwing).

And we can imagine the wandering major in the foothills
Mapping out the shifting frontier posts
Disguised perhaps as a fakir with a goatherd’s crook
Concealing measuring tape and theodolite
And no doubt thinking as brain fever descends on him,
About his own wife back in Hazelmere
With that awful car-salesman type.

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image