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

From the Journals R.F. Langley
From the Journals of R.   F. Langley

The poet  R. F. Langley (1938–2011) was also, privately, a prolific prose writer. Extracts from his journals, which he began in 1969, first appeared in PN Review in 2002. The notes to Langley’s Complete Poems, edited by Jeremy Noel-Tod, cite a number of unpublished journal entries that directly informed the writing of his verse.

14 May 2000 , Minsmere Beach, Suffolk

At the top of the shingle the low bank is undercut, draped by dead marram, stuffed with packed flints. But it has a narrow gutter, along its base, of clear sand, maybe where the last high waves tickled out the flints so they fell away. The sand is pocked with small holes. I take a length of marram and poke into one. Half an inch above it a fan of black spider’s legs suddenly protrudes from the sand. I poke below these and force a fine arctosa perita out into the open so it runs very briefly, then freezes. Perfect match. The glassy sand grains, in size and colours, match its mottlings, cinnamon, ginger, black, orange. It moves only its chelicerae, a little. After a long time it goes to another hole, under a pebble, pulls itself in, backs out, waits some more. Eventually it heaves itself out of sight under the sand where there seemed to be no hole… the remnants of its old tunnel, possibly. The surface shrugs as it pushes deeper. A dead female minotaur beetle rolled on her back close by, carapace horns short and unobtrusive, dead eyes ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image