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12 May 2021

The NS Poem: Heine’s raspberry drops

A new poem by Craig Raine.

By Craig Raine

Lot One:
blossom bursting like popcorn,
a chain reaction.

This magnolia,
a bright hosanna
in the sunlit bay

between two buttresses,
borne up in excelsis,
as breeze buoys a dress.

The dog eating a bone
with ill-fitting dentures (listen).
Aran cauliflower knitting.

Lizards are linen.
There is a bobbin
in every Cox’s pippin.

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In Moscow, I saw
dead electric razors
in a shop window,

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piled like a sample
of deep damp
Aldeburgh shingle.

Everything must go.
Everything you know.
Everything you’ll never know.

Craig Raine is a poet, novelist and critic, and was the editor of Areté.

[See also: The NS Poem: from uncivil]

This article appears in the 12 May 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Without total change Labour will die