Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
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 Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 140, Volume 27 Number 6, July - August 2001.

Two Poems Dannie Abse


Fly

He was talking about Kierkegaard
when I observed a housefly had chosen
to settle on his elegant left shoe.

He was saying how we are a mixture
of the finite and the infinite
unaware of this fly, a masterpiece.

He was saying we are a synthesis
of the temporal and the eternal
while the fly's proboscis sucked his shoe.

And when it crawled on to his exposed sock
I thought how the female domesticus,
programmed, lays its eggs in refuse or dung;

how the larvae, those small white maggots,
change to pupae without casting their skins
till eight days later the perfect fly emerges.


Snapshot of Ruskin in Venice
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image