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  1. Culture
3 March 2021

The NS Poem: In praise of skinny lads

A new poem by Tamsin Hopkins.

By Tamsin Hopkins

I love all those skinny lads made of elbows 
and knees joined up by stick-limbs that angle 
about, those loping would-be louts whose knees 
are seen on the stairs before the rest of them 
whose eyes are apologetic and whose tongues 
lick the honey from warm bread not quite toasted.

My heart fills for those twiggy proto-men 
when their backsides sink in granny’s sofa 
causing them to peer between their knees, 
knees angled like tilted picture frames, 
their spindle fingers hovering on stringy thighs, 
their feet nearly covering the rug. I love them 
when they get out of the sofa to pass their gran a slice 
of lemon drizzle, like a disjointed deckchair trying to rise.

Tamsin Hopkins is a poet based in London. Her pamphlet, “Inside the Smile”, is published by Cinnamon Press.

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This article appears in the 03 Mar 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Humanity vs the virus

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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