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)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Vahni Capildeo The Boisterous Weeping of Margery Kempe Paul Muldoon The Fly Sinead Morrissey Put Off That Mask Jane Yeh Three Poems Sarah Rothenberg Poetry and Music: Exile and Return

This poem is taken from PN Review 231, Volume 43 Number 1, September - October 2016.

You, Ellen Fleur Adcock
HEROINE

I plucked you out of a group photograph
in our family album: you, composed,
standing in the centre front; my father,
pleased with himself, just behind you, his head,
like yours, tilted slightly back – a habit
learnt from being among taller people.

You chaired the first UNESCO conference
(this wasn’t it); you were from Manchester,
you’d been a teacher, you’d served in the Blitz –
you couldn’t have been more his cup of tea.
‘That’s the Minister of Education’,
Mother would boast. So where was it taken?

Three women and fifteen men, all in suits
apart from one ARP uniform
(is that a clue?) Birkbeck suggests itself,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image