PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
PNR266 Now Available
The latest issue of PN Review is now available to read online. read more
Most Read... 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)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Next Issue Stav Poleg Running Between Languages Jeffrey Meyers on Mr W.H. (Auden) Miles Burrows The Critic as Cleaning Lady Timothy Ades translates Brecht, Karen Leeder translates Ulrike Almut Sandig
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This poem is taken from PN Review 232, Volume 43 Number 2, November - December 2016.

Later Emperors Evan Jones
1. PHILIP THE ARAB

When Gordian iii asked to remain emperor,
the army booed and hissed.
So he offered to share his power
and the army clanked their spears.
He consented to the rank of Caesar.
But the army refused him.
Could he act then as prefect?
No. They declined outright.
Finally he pleaded for his life.
Philip the Arab, silent till that moment,
considered letting him live.
He thought of Gordian’s innocence,
the sympathy the innocent engender,
the riots that sympathy sets in motion,
the half-finished, the order
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image