Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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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.’

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’.

The Easel

Sharon Olds

‘When I build a fire, I feel purposeful.’

In the Village

Derek Walcott

‘I came up out of the subway and there were / people standing on the steps as if they knew / something I didn’t.’

Two Poems

Sean Borodale

‘To be honest, this is dark stuff; mud, tang / of bitter battery-tasting honey. The woods are in it.’

The Woman in the Moon

Carol Ann Duffy

‘Darlings, I write to you from the moon’

Abingdon Square Park

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

The Wife

David Katz

‘Ever notice the change that comes over / your gentle wife the minute she sets / foot in a grocery store?’

Two Poems

Paula Bohince

‘What sparrows come, / come briefly, briefly displacing / the nothingness.’

Fortunate It Is If Her Skirts Do Not Catch Fire

Amy Gerstler

‘I must remember god is not my private / secretary.’

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.’

Observations on the Ground

Mary Ruefle

‘Those flowers belong to the dead.’

The Swing

Don Paterson

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

Two Poems

Eric Anderson

‘Wanting to get it all in, like / Xerxes tipping his army’s arrows / with saltpeter / so to ignite the Grecian sky.’

End of the Pier Show

Michael Hofmann

‘They were fascinated / by what they seemed to have contained.’

Cyan

Paul Farley

‘I’m holding out. / I’m blue in the face.’

Handkerchief

Ghassan Zaqtan

‘Nothing’s left to say between us / everything went / into the train that hid its whistle.’

Hang It Up

Anne Carson

‘hang up your blood cell phone mr white slaver’

Après

Jamie McKendrick

‘greener / for an alien crop of hogweed higher / than us’

Pax Americana

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘It looks like life, or its oasis.’

In the village of the mothers

Vénus Khoury-Ghata

‘The wells are kept for the use of the dead who splash the / walls with their silence.’

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.’

The Door Was Open and the House Was Dark

Seamus Heaney

‘I called his name, although I knew / The answer this time would be silence / That kept me standing listening while it grew.’

The New Hieroglyphics

Les Murray

‘Rice in bowl with chopsticks / denotes food. Figure 1 lying prone equals other.’

Self-Portrait as Amnesiac

John Burnside

‘Shoeboxes lined with eggs and empty / pomegranates drying in a bowl, / mousebones and wicker, chess pieces, muddled coats.’

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.’

Waterloo East

Lorraine Mariner

‘On one of those mornings / when I felt like resigning / from my life.’

The Making of the English Landscape

Simon Armitage

It’s too late now to start collecting football shirts,/bringing them back from trips abroad as souvenirs:

Face to Face

Tomas Tranströmer

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

Two Poems

Joe Wenderoth

‘At first you treat him as a nobility – / a miraculous figure(head) / with no real office. / Then he dies.’

Poem
(To A)

Harold Pinter

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