My mother went with no more warning
Than a bright voice and a bad pain.
Home from school on a June morning
And where the brook goes under the lane
A collection to celebrate the two hundred and fiftieth issue of PN Review.
Foreword by Michael Schmidt, Editor of PN Review
The life expectancy of poetry magazines is often a butterfly’s span. Few reach ten issues, fewer still a hundred. To reach 250 issues over five decades is evidence of editorial tenacity and conviction. The twenty-five poems collected here are by poets who have been part of a long journey which has included an IRA bomb that destroyed the editorial offices in 1996, the turn of a millennium, the birth of the electric typewriter, the laptop computer and digital media, and much more. Four of the poets here featured in the very first issue of Poetry Nation (1973), and four feature in the 250th issue (November-December 2019). Paul Muldoon said, ‘It's been going so long that many of us have all but forgotten what the P and the N stand for. I think of them as opening and closing the word Provocation. And that's why I so love the magazine.' Here are poets who saw service in the First and Second World Wars and others who are relative newcomers on the poetry stage. Voices speak from the four corners of the Anglophone world. The poems celebrate risk and continuity. We celebrate with twenty-five memorable discoveries and epiphanies.
which send cold judgement into the backbone which leave us, workless, shrunk at home staring in a sky grown black with leaves.
which send cold judgement into the backbone
which leave us, workless, shrunk at home
staring in a sky grown black with leaves.
Marge, let’s send a sadness telegram.
I roamed under it as a tired, nude Maori.
No trace, not one carton.
Claw up. Claw down. Cut.
My fine eyes. My fine eyes are - Cut.
I was fluffed & plucked, like a beauty-pageant winner,
Between takes. Like a news presenter.