"West London": a new poem by Fiona Sampson

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Behind each window
is a tableau
like in an advent
calendar –

or a vitrine –
where each room extends
into another
scene beyond scene

ceaselessly varied
and the same
as if a giant
spoiled child

was playing houses,
rearranging
French doors, sofas,
walls of books –

the same few favourites
placed now here
now here – endless rehearsal
and displacement.

Fiona Sampson is professor of poetry at the University of Roehampton and the editor of Poem magazine. Her latest book is Coleshill (Chatto & Windus, £10).

This article first appeared in the 11 June 2014 issue of the New Statesman, The last World Cup