Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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If You Were a Bluebird

Juliana Spahr

‘So the dolphins talks, talks, over thirty distinguishable sounds.’

From The Abstract Humanities

Sandra Simonds

‘let us / build the openwork fabric of our garden / on the fear in the body’

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

‘Certain moments send adrenaline to the heart, dry out the tongue’

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’.

Origin Myth

Mary Ruefle

‘Life continually circled in cold inaccessible serenity around unhappy Earth’

High Table

Craig Raine

‘The inescapable smoke of her gown’

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

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

The Swing

Don Paterson

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

Observations on the Ground

Mary Ruefle

‘Those flowers belong to the 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.’

The Afterlife of Trees and Their Lovers

Sumana Roy

‘It is difficult to imagine a history of trees / without man in it. Man as tree, Tree as tale.’

Model Reconstruction of Ancient Rome

Sandra Simonds

‘Here I am. Sephora, symbol of stolen work.’

Abingdon Square Park

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

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’

17 Melbourne Road

Oliver Reynolds

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

Undo it

Carl Phillips

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

Eternities

Charles Simic

‘Could they be the same person?’

Poem
(To A)

Harold Pinter

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

Pax Americana

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘It looks like life, or its oasis.’

Beyond Sunset

Mary Ruefle

‘Red sadness never appears sad . . . it appears in flashes of passion, anger, fear, inspiration and courage, in dark unsellable visions; it is an upside down penny concealed beneath a tea cosy.’

Sampati

Vikram Seth

‘Why do you cry?’

Coming Night

James Schuyler

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

Salad Days

Barbara Ras

‘nothing in those early evenings free / of care could have prepared you’

Crusoe

Salman Rushdie

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

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.’

6 March 1989

Salman Rushdie

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

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.’

Face to Face

Tomas Tranströmer

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

Vinod Kumar Shukla: Two Poems

Vinod Kumar Shukla

‘The truth is, though no one says it, / They’re all worried about their children.’

Bird of Fire

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

Endpapers

Adrienne Rich

‘Consider yourself / a trombone blowing unheard.’

Supernovae

Ellen Rachlin

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