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Eternities

Charles Simic

‘Could they be the same person?’

String Theory

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch

‘On tenterhooks / you think how string constricts, how / it connects, how you followed it back / to Rawtenstall.’

Two Poems

John Balaban

‘Her mother planted a garden in Manhattan. / In that garden is a tree. Some look on it and feel restored. / Others, when the wind lifts its leaves, want to scream.’

A Cloudless Sky

Michael Dickman

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

Handkerchief

Ghassan Zaqtan

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

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.’

Postscript

John Burnside

'the trees / are slender in the way that things / are almost, though not quite / absent'

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’

Meeting the psychiatrist’s wife

Lorraine Mariner

‘The psychiatrist’s wife / has a dress the colour / of that bottle of claret / you shouldn’t have drunk / last night.’

The Burning of the Rocks

John Kinsella

‘What locked-away / state of unawareness, other life form, / brings desire to combust / out of rock exposed to flame’

Dilation

Ben Lerner

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

The Lady and the Skull

Angela Carter

‘In just such an emblematic a fashion / The world takes on / Human form.’

Nature Study: Spots

Kay Ryan

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

Blueberries

James Lasdun

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

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

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

Two Poems

Niall Campbell

‘And so, last night, so cold, I listened to / the floorboards warp in the unwelcome heat.’

How Long is the Coast of Britain?

Jynne Martin

‘It is the hour for farewells. It is the hour.’

Waterloo East

Lorraine Mariner

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

Two Poems

Paula Bohince

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

Dog Days

James Lasdun

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

Two Poems

Kaddy Benyon

‘Sometimes I am so afraid my envy / will hack at your figs, strawberries, / or full-bellied beans, I dig my fists / into my pockets and nip myself.’

Two Poems

Sean Borodale

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

Blue Sky Thinking

Gillian Clarke

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

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:

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

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

Oak

Jamie McKendrick

‘When my father saw an advert in the Echo / for a big house at a peppercorn rent / he rang.’

Solitude

Huang Canran

‘Two friends, who hadn’t met in a year / sat chatting in a house.’

Flying Towards a Country of Rain

Wang Yin

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

The Day Etta Died

John Burnside

‘I was marking a stack of essays / on Frank O’Hara / and each had a Wiki- / paragraph to say / who Genet was.’

Endpapers

Adrienne Rich

‘Consider yourself / a trombone blowing unheard.’

Self-Portrait as Amnesiac

John Burnside

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

Promenading

Chris Emery

A poem by Chris Emery, taken from his forthcoming collection The Departure.