Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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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.

Abingdon Square Park

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

Station

Ishion Hutchinson

‘The train station was a cemetery. / Drunk with spirits, another being entered.’

At Thirty

Paula Bohince

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

Pay Attention

Sophie Cabot Black

‘I can only do what is here. But you / Have an entire congregation of choice’

Supernovae

Ellen Rachlin

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

sleeping far from home

Soledad Marambio

‘They told her a thrush came into the house / and fell asleep by the TV.’

The Sun in a Box

Caleb Klaces

‘When I was younger I drafted a memory. / I drew a rectangle on a piece of card / and called it a computer.’

We’ll always have Paris

Richard Meier

‘I’d gone there with my girlfriend of three years, / then left her three days after meeting you.’

Bird of Fire

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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

Sunday Drive Home

David Masello

‘On the drive down the Taconic, / you sleep, your head sinks then snaps / up when it reaches some reflex angle.’

Fabric

Richard Meier

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

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’

Face to Face

Tomas Tranströmer

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

I had wondered about the signs of burning

John Kinsella

‘None of it made sense. The house shows / no signs – the old core of the house as it is now – / of fire, of giving up the ghost.’

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?

Post-Elegy

Wayne Miller

‘After the plane went down, / the cars sat for weeks in long-term parking. / Then, one by one, they began to disappear / from among the cars of the living.’

Requiem

Jill Osier

‘I watch her help, / gathering the leaves to her like love, / hiding herself.’

Two Poems

Ivan Landzhev

‘My chess teacher / used to tell me: / ‘Play your own game.’’

Saturday Night

Lavinia Greenlaw

‘Do they dance for those creatures / whose unmade selves / come unbuttoning out of the dark?’

The Old Fuel

Emily Berry

‘And I'm / cranking out oodles of love the way an old spaghetti machine / cranks out spaghetti.’

Accidental

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.’

Fortunate It Is If Her Skirts Do Not Catch Fire

Amy Gerstler

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

Coronation

Gillian Allnutt

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

Inheritance

Sadaf Halai

‘It made the sound of / a small balloon dropping.’

Black Against the Sky, the Giant Mothers

Selima Hill

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

The Easel

Sharon Olds

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

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.’