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  1. Culture
  2. Poetry
15 January 2020

Walpurgis

A new poem by Fiona Sampson.

By Fiona Sampson

This after sunset summer
light is the closest
we can come
to the strangeness of a white
night its borrowed time

in which trees stand
motionless they
go blind without the sun
and on the hill a deer
coughs again                                                                                              

exploratory
in the June night as bats                       
veer between power lines
while someone’s radio
far downstream

might be illusion
as if sound misplaced
itself when everything
fell out of step                                                           
in the incomprehensible                     

bright dark and out
of the woods the festive
children could
come jiving and drumming
dressed for carnival

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Fiona Sampson’s most recent book is In Search of Mary Shelley (Profile). Her eighth poetry collection, Come Down, will be published by Corsair in February.

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This article appears in the 15 Jan 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Why the left keeps losing

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. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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