Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

Explore poetry


17 Melbourne Road

Oliver Reynolds

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

6 March 1989

Salman Rushdie

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

A Cloudless Sky

Michael Dickman

‘A cloudless sky and I’m back / an ice-cold sky-blue rag / for my eyes’

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’

A Spell For Going Safely Forth By Day

Jynne Martin

‘The hunter pushes a bullet beneath his tongue to fix his aim, / or is it to stave off his thirst?

Abingdon Square Park

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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


Sadaf Halai

‘Of the 36 views of Fuji, this one is the strangest: / the great wave off Kanagawa, frozen and tempestuous, / both sound and silence.’

All the Good Help

Togara Muzanenhamo

‘He will not understand her fascination / for rain, these summer months of water / that somehow keep the money coming in.’

Ange Mlinko | First Sentence

Ange Mlinko

‘I rediscovered the efficacy of meter (or the ‘contrast between fixity and flux’) when I was stuck in a shark tunnel with my kids and was afraid I was coming down with a panic attack.’


Jamie McKendrick

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

At Thirty

Paula Bohince

‘At thirty, I fled from my life / in a hailstorm and firestorm’

Bianca Burning

C.K. Williams

‘The sexual terror lions are roaring into my ears as I make my way between their cages’

Bird of Fire

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

Black Against the Sky, the Giant Mothers

Selima Hill

‘Black against the sky the giant mothers / are whispering together in the moonlight’

Blue Sky Thinking

Gillian Clarke

‘Let’s do this again, ground the planes for a while and leave the runways to the racing hare.’


James Lasdun

‘I’m talking to you old man. / Listen to me as you step inside this garden’

Coming Night

James Schuyler

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


Gillian Allnutt

‘We waited quietly for the Queen who wasn’t there’


Salman Rushdie

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


Paul Farley

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

Dark Night

Ben Okri

‘On a night when my soul was damp / I found in the street a dark lamp. / The moon was cold and green, / The sky had a sinister sheen’


Ben Lerner

‘We need to harness the vaguely erotic disappointment that attends the realization you aren’t being followed.’

Dog Days

James Lasdun

‘Blizzard died. I’m remembering / his limitless affection.’

Don’t Flinch

Adrienne Rich

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

Eel Tail

Alice Oswald

‘untranslatable hissed interruptions / unspeakable wide chapped lips’


Sean O’Brien

‘It seems there's no such thing as history. / We must have dreamed the world you've vanished from.’

End of the Pier Show

Michael Hofmann

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


Adrienne Rich

‘Consider yourself / a trombone blowing unheard.’


Charles Simic

‘Could they be the same person?’


Richard Meier

‘At midnight on our third and final date / I stepped inside her Edwardian conversion / to find a stripped-pine, bookless space.’

Face to Face

Tomas Tranströmer

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

Flying Towards a Country of Rain

Wang Yin

‘Paper phantoms sit beside me / watching a two-hour movie.’

Fortunate It Is If Her Skirts Do Not Catch Fire

Amy Gerstler

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

Four Poems

Peter Robinson

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