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Observations on the Ground

Mary Ruefle

‘Those flowers belong to the dead.’

Pax Americana

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘It looks like life, or its oasis.’

Eternities

Charles Simic

‘Could they be the same person?’

A Description of the Architectural Impact of My Home, Age 7

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘my apartment is neither over / nor under the sidewalk, / but both at once’

Nature Study: Spots

Kay Ryan

‘Like something / that might also / happen in the head,’

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

Don Paterson reads his poem, ‘The Self-Illuminated’ in memoriam Peter Porter, from Granta 119: Britain.

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

‘One, perhaps his psalter, / the other, a manuscript, or a portable altar.’

Endpapers

Adrienne Rich

‘Consider yourself / a trombone blowing unheard.’

Abingdon Square Park

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘I once had had a thought / About a thought I once had had.’

Supernovae

Ellen Rachlin

‘Theory cannot be tangible fact / like driving on I-95 to get to a lecture / on supernovae.’

Bird of Fire

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘No more, no longer the sweet difference / Between real and dream I knew.’

Face to Face

Tomas Tranströmer

ʻThe birds refused to fly and the soul / grated against the landscape.ʼ

Why A Colored Girl Will Slice You If You Talk Wrong About Motown

Patricia Smith

‘Their newborn children grew / like streetlights. We grew like insurance payments. / We grew like resentment.’

Two Poems

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘It was a cruelty I first tried to blame on nature, / Then on growing up, on falling off, on it being / Just an old myth.’

Undo it

Carl Phillips

‘I can almost see again: we’ll drown anyway’

Don’t Flinch

Adrienne Rich

‘Lichen-green lines of shingle pulsate and waver / when you lift your eyes. It’s the glare.’

Coming Night

James Schuyler

‘what did you think of, / how long did you wait’

Three Poems

Katha Pollitt

‘Nobody wanted to hear / about the rain or its father / or leviathan slicing the deeps / at the black edge of the world / under the cold blue light of the Pleiades.’

Teenager

Wislawa Szymborska

‘I know much more — / but nothing for sure.’

Poem
(To A)

Harold Pinter

‘I shall miss you so much when I am dead’

The Swing

Don Paterson

‘the honest fulcrum of the hour / that engineers our ghost’

17 Melbourne Road

Oliver Reynolds

‘A room at the top of the street / preserving his life in sunlight’

High Table

Craig Raine

‘The inescapable smoke of her gown’

Sampati

Vikram Seth

‘Why do you cry?’

Crusoe

Salman Rushdie

‘Let me tell you, boyo, bach: I love this place, where green hills shelter me from fear.’

6 March 1989

Salman Rushdie

‘Damn, brother. You saw what they did to my face? / Poked out my eyes. Knocked teeth out of place’.

Four Poems

Peter Robinson

‘I swelter in the dusk / and chase the flies, abstractedly, / until I half forget them.’

from Long Talking Bad Conditions Blues

Ronald Sukenick

‘She was visibly ageing you could tell / that soon it was going to be a long / desperate race between cellulite and silicone’.