Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
15 December 2015

“White”: a new poem by Craig Raine

“A cabbage white / bluster at the edge of sight.”

By Craig Raine

A cabbage white:
bluster at the edge of sight,

unbroken bronco,
its own mute rodeo,

a battle without issue.

*
White toilet tissue,

a single grey sheet, whole
in the lavatory bowl,

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

like ectoplasm.

*
No lightning in spasms.

Dark. But white rain,
smashed transparency:

contains
flash photography.

*
Is now electricity:

tiny bulbs, silver-white, shine
on the blue plastic washing line.

*
Dirty white, a pigeon tarred
and feathering the road.

*
New lambs
out on their limbs:

abrupt
little hiccoughs.

The twilight tone
of damp pumice stone.

*
Indifferent happiness writes
its different whites.

 

Craig Raine is a poet and critic and the editor of Areté magazine.

This article appears in the 09 Dec 2015 issue of the New Statesman, The clash of empires