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
Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to

This item is taken from PN Review 233, Volume 43 Number 3, January - February 2017.

PETER SCUPHAM WRITES: I was interested to read Thomas Kinsella’s revisionist comments on Wordsworth’s marriage in his commentary on ‘Nutting’ (PNR 232).

The ‘frugal Dame’, now identified by Kinsella as the ‘attentive, sensible wife’ of the poet, reveals at last that Ann Tyson, beloved by William as his Hawkshead landlady, though already married to Hugh Tyson, must have entered into a bigamous relationship with William as a schoolboy, this act in a curious way being a premonition of the poet’s extraordinary behaviour in placing the ring with which he was about to marry Mary Hutchinson on his sister Dorothy’s finger for a pre-wedding ‘wedding’ night.

There are wheels within wheels, and I am glad to have watched them spinning so surprisingly, yet agreeably.

THOMAS KINSELLA RESPONDS: Mine is not a commentary on Wordsworth’s ‘Nutting’.  It is a direct response to the poem, on the poem’s own terms – with nothing added from Wordsworth’s biography.

The central figure is not identifiable in the poem as Wordsworth himself; and in my reading needs to be mature. The sexual psychic experience which is the core of the poem – sensual languor; sudden violence; imagery of virginity and rape; satiation, with awareness of pain – would seem extreme for
a young schoolboy.  

CHRIS MILLER WRITES: I failed to return a carefully drawn-up list of corrections to the proofs of my essay i.m. Yves Bonnefoy (PNR 232). Among these corrections was one affecting the last line of the essay, quoting the first poem in Bonnefoy’s Douve, ‘ ... ô plus belle / Que la foudre, quand elle tache les vitres blanches de ton sang.’ Here the de can be read as ‘of’ but the reading ‘with’, as Anthony Rudolf has kindly pointed out, was confirmed by Bonnefoy himself. I am reluctant to allow my error, shared with Galway Kinnell, to stand. Anthony’s fine translation is as follows:

And I have seen you break apart and take your pleasure in being dead – O you who are more beautiful
Than the lightning, when it stains the white window panes with your blood.

ANTHONY RUDOLF WRITES: While not agreeing with every interpretation, I would like to say that Chris Miller’s homage to Yves Bonnefoy is a marvellous and singular account of his relationship with this great poet and, equally, with the poet’s work.

KATHRYN MARIS WRITES: I disagree with David Spittle’s assessment of Jamie McKendrick’s work in his Selected Poems as ‘artfully conjured but stunted’ – though I accept that is a matter of opinion. I also disagree with his categorisation of a sonnet as a ‘box’ as though it’s an airless trap or coffin – but that, too, is an opinion. What is less a matter of opinion, however, is the sonnet form itself. Of ‘Skin Deep’, which Spittle uses to support his judgment of McKendrick’s poems, Spittle asks, ‘Why a sonnet? Could it not inch its tentacular vision from out of that particular box?’ McKendrick’s unrhymed, eleven-lined poem doesn’t strike me as anything like a ‘box’, but it is surely not a sonnet.

This item is taken from PN Review 233, Volume 43 Number 3, January - February 2017.

Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image