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  1. Culture
  2. Poetry
22 November 2023

The NS Poem: Hoops

A new poem by Erica McApline.

By Erica McAlpine

These hoops!
I am too big to jump through
them – my hips bump into
the sides and oops 

they’ve clattered down 
like fences do in storms. 
Stop sending me forms 
to fill that don’t matter. I won’t be shown 

where to sign 
or feel forced to report 
the details of my falling short. 
I’ll doodle on the dotted line 

dreaming of bars 
low enough to step over 
and laughing at the giver  
of gold stars.

Erica McAlpine is an associate professor of English at the University of Oxford. Her books include “The Poet’s Mistake” (Princeton University Press) and “The Country Gambler” (Shearsman)

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[See also: The NS Poem: The Girl]

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This article appears in the 22 Nov 2023 issue of the New Statesman, The paranoid style

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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