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The Swing

Don Paterson

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

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

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

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

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

Pax Americana

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘It looks like life, or its oasis.’

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.’

Bird of Fire

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

Abingdon Square Park

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

Undo it

Carl Phillips

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

Poem
(To A)

Harold Pinter

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

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.’

Supernovae

Ellen Rachlin

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

High Table

Craig Raine

‘The inescapable smoke of her gown’

17 Melbourne Road

Oliver Reynolds

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

Endpapers

Adrienne Rich

‘Consider yourself / a trombone blowing unheard.’

Don’t Flinch

Adrienne Rich

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

Four Poems

Peter Robinson

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

Observations on the Ground

Mary Ruefle

‘Those flowers belong to the dead.’

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’.

Nature Study: Spots

Kay Ryan

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

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’

Coming Night

James Schuyler

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

Sampati

Vikram Seth

‘Why do you cry?’

Eternities

Charles Simic

‘Could they be the same person?’

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.’

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’.

Teenager

Wislawa Szymborska

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

Face to Face

Tomas Tranströmer

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